[PRESS RELEASE FROM SCOTTISH RUGBY UNION]
Scottish Rugby and the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) have today announced the Italian-Scottish Challenge, a two-legged tie focused on increasing the international experience of players from both countries.
The challenge will take place later this month, with the defending BT Premiership champions Heriot’s going head-to-head with Italy Emerging, a team made up of players from Italy’s domestic competition, the National Championship, Eccellenza.
The inaugural match will take place on Friday 11 November in Biella (near Turin) where Italy Emerging, coached by former Italian international Carlo Orlandi, will host Heriots, with the return leg to be played eight days later in Edinburgh at Goldenacre (Saturday 19 November).
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “The Italian-Scottish Challenge provides an opportunity for the defending BT Premiership champions, Heriot’s, to develop their experience of cross-border competition against an emerging Italian team.
We are looking forward to working closely with the FIR to deliver the Italian-Scottish Challenge as we look to grow the exposure of Scotland’s premier club game to a high level of competition. It is a great opportunity for Heriot’s to develop and test their players against a strong Italian side.”
FIR President, Alfredo Gavazzi, said: “Today the Eccellenza, our domestic competition, represents the last step of our development process, immediately before the move to PRO12. This new competition, delivered jointly with Scottish Rugby, will allow us to add a further step to the pathway of our prospects, making them compete at a level between the one they’re used to and a further one.”
Friday 11 November
Italy Emerging v Heriot’s, Biella, Stadio “Lamarmora” (kick-off 7pm GMT, 8pm local)
Saturday 19 November
Heriot’s v Italy Emerging, Goldenacre (kick-off 2.15pm)
Tickets: £10 entry, £5 concessions