Italy to play Test matches at Udinese stadium

bluenergy stadium
Italy will return to the home of Serie A club Udinese for the first time in fifteen years following a three-year agreement with the club.

The Azzurri last played at Bluenergy Stadium - or 'Stadio Friuli' as it was then known - in a 2009 Test match against the reigning world champions, South Africa. The agreement between the FIR and Udinese will see the national team play at the venue once a year until 2026.

Gonzalo Quesada's Italy will host Argentina at the stadium in their Autumn Nations Series opener this year, which takes place on Saturday 9th November.

The news follows the recent announcement that the Azzurri will face the All Blacks at Juventus' Allianz Stadium in Turin on Saturday 23rd November, in another landmark event for Italian rugby.

Italian rugby has seen a surge in grassroots participation, with age-grade teams achieving increasing success in recent years. These efforts are now bearing fruit for the senior team, whose recent performances in the Guinness Men's Six Nations Championships and Autumn Nations Series have underlined their credentials as serious contenders.

Rising star Tommaso Menoncello was named this year's Guinness Men's Player of the Championship, while new defence coach Richard Hodges expressed confidence in enhancing the team's defensive capabilities.

Elsewhere in Italian rugby, the inaugural Women's Summer Series will be held in FIR this year from 4th-14th July. The competition has been introduced as a crucial stepping stone for the development of women's U20 players.