News in Brief
Stadio Flaminio set for re-vamp
January 30, 2010
The Stadio Flaminio will see its capacity rise from 24,000 to 42,000 in time for the 2012 Six Nations
© Getty Images
- The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) have announced that the Stadio Flaminio in Rome is to undergo a major re-vamp that will see its capacity rise from the current 24,000 to 42,000.
Approval for the stadium upgrade has been granted by Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno and the work will begin this summer with the completion expected before the 2012 Six Nations. "Six Nations rugby is absolutely indispensable for Rome," Alemanno said.
The stadium has staged all of Italy's home Six Nations matches since they joined the Championship in 2000 during which time the Azzurri have scored notable victories over both Scotland and Wales. This year the stadium will play host to Italy's Six Nations clashes with England (February 14) and Scotland (February 27).
- Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees did enough on his return from injury to show he is ready for a return to international action in Wales' Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham next weekend, according to Davies.
"I back Matt to go into the Wales team for Twickenham," said the Scarlets coach following his side's 18-13 Anglo-Welsh Cup victory over London Wasps. "He's fit and he's fine, as he showed with his performance here, especially in the lineout."
Wasps coach Tony Hanks reserved praise for Tom Varndell and endorsed the wing's England prospects. "As for Tom Varndell, scoring tries is a special skill, but it's also the work around the pitch that he does that deserves credit," said Hanks after Varndell's two-try performance.
"He's the first to come in for training and analyse his game, which sums the guy up. I can only assume England have some riches on the wing to kick on without Tom, who is more than capable of playing in the next level. The guy is still young. He had four Tests then got a knock-back. But from what I'm seeing, he is coming back pretty strong."
- Irish province Ulster are reportedly set to sign South African lock Johann Muller.
The 29-year-old, capped 23 times by the Springboks, is currently preparing for the new Super 14 season with the Sharks in Durban and will join his new side following the conclusion of the competition in May. Ulster have also been strongly linked with Cardiff Blues No.8 Xavier Rush and Edinburgh scrum-half Mike Blair.
- Julien Pierre has been called into the 30-man France squad to replace the injured Romain Millo-Chluski ahead of next Sunday's Six Nations opener against Scotland.
Les Bleus coach Marc Lievremont turned to 28-year-old Bourgoin lock Pierre, who won his first France cap on the 2007 tour of New Zealand, after Toulouse second row Millo-Chluski, 26, was ruled out due to an unspecified injury. Lievremont will name his team for the Murrayfield encounter on Wednesday.
After a testing opener in Scotland, France host Ireland before travelling to Wales and then finishing with two games in Paris against Italy and England.
- The Waratahs scored a comprehensive 83-15 victory over the Fiji Warriors in their pre-season clash at Wade Park in Orange on Saturday. The Tahs ran in a total of 13 tries with Peter Betham, Chris Alcock and Adam D'Arcy leading the way with two tries each. The Waratahs return to Sydney on Sunday with a short turnaround before their final trial against the Brumbies on Thursday.
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