Federazione Italiana Rugby League
The Federazione Italiana Rugby League was formed in 2008, a progeny of the Italia Rugby League, which was created in Sydney in 1995 and registered in Italy in 2002. Its remit was to bring the sport back to Italy, following rugby league’s disappearance from ‘the Boot’ of Europe in the sixties.
FIRL is a non-profit association registered in the province of Padova. The IRL was initially an Observer of the ERLF until October 2010 when the two-year old FIRL became one of the first two nations, alongside Jamaica, to obtain Membership since the ERL’s birth in 2003. FIRL’s Board comprises members elected by its general assembly and from the founding clubs. It is currently working to be recognised as a specific discipline by CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee and an agency of the Italian Ministry of Sport.
Although FIRL is headquartered in Italy, it also has committees in France, England and Australia. Strategically it is focusing on the north-west and north-east Italy with the responsibility for club and other domestic development. The Italian national team, the ‘Azzurri’, has played senior football in the modern era since the world cup qualifiers in 1999.
The Italian Men's national team has seen many rugby league greats represent them on the international stage including the Minichello brothers, Anthony and Mark with the side regularly reaching major tournaments. Italy will look to give a good account of themselves in the 2021 rugby league world cup where they are seeded in a tough group along with Scotland, Fiji and the current holders, Australia.
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