Fri 27 April
FIRL have confirmed that the new Serie A Rugby League season will begin on May 25 and will run until June 23.
XIII del Ducato will defend the crown they have won for the past two seasons.
The final number of teams taking part, the season structure and the Grand Final venue will all be unveiled at a launch on May 11.
Post season, in the continued build up to the Azzurri’s participation in the Rugby League World Cup 2013, the Italian 'State of Origin' will take place between Lombardy and the Venetian Lions which will be held at Augustan Stadium of Este rugby club.
The Venetians from the North East will be looking to retain the trophy they won 36-34 in the final minute of last season’s clash.
The best domestic players will then be selected for the Italian side that will compete in the European Shield, a competition they won in 2008 and again the following season.
Italy will play their first match in Belgrade on June 9 against Serbia and will then host Germany on July 7, ending the first phase with a match against Russia on September 8 in Moscow.
The second phase in 2013 will see Italy at home against Serbia and Russia and travel to current holders Germany. The full Italian side will also host England Knights in the autumn.
FIRL will also be organising the first ever Rugby League coaching and refereeing courses to be held in the country to RLEF accredited standard during the summer.
President Daniele Veronese commented, “My primary goal is to achieve a high calibre of domestic Championship alongside national coaches Carlo Napolitano and Paul Broadbent who have the task of improving and advancing the sport within the Italian clubs.”
“We are looking at increasing the number of participants and registered clubs in Italy.”
Additionally, FIRL will be present for the first time at the General Assembly of the Rugby League International Federation, to be held in London and Manchester from May 1st- 5th
Discussion will be principally centered on the forthcoming World Cup and the continuing spread of the sport internationally.
“It is an honour for us to take part in this AGM with world powers such as England, Australia, New Zealand and France,” Veronese added.
“Joining the elite of international Rugby League is a huge incentive for us and we are looking at working to the guidelines established for continued development.”
FIRL will outline to the International Board their new constitutional structure while they will also visit some of the facilities the national side has been allocated for the World Cup.
RLEF EUROPEAN SHIELD – Phase 1
GAME 3 – 9th JUNE 2012
SERBIA V ITALY, Makis Stadium, Belgrade SERBIA. 1700 hrs
GAME 4 – 7th JULY 2012
ITALY V GERMANY, Stadio Beltrametti, Piacenza, ITALY. 1800 hrs
GAME 5 – 8th SEPTEMBER 2012
RUSSIA V ITALY, Naro Stadium, Naro-Fomins