Gauls invade Rome again – for Rugby

If your Latin class includes Rugby enthusiasts, this could be one for the notice board.
Planet Rugby likens the Six Nations Rugby tournament to the Roman games, or various invasions, with references to Brennus and Genseric:

Romans get a rugby reminder
Sunday 28th January 2007

The Italian Rugby Federation has embarked on a campaign of making Romans aware of rugby by sending artists to all quarters of the city to remind the Senate and People of Rome that the Six Nations is at hand.

The opening match of this year's tournament will be played at Stadio Flaminio on Saturday, pitting the Azzurri of Italy against the Bleus of France – the reigning Six Nations champions and the second-ranked team in the world.

The French will come across the Alps like all those invaders of old – from Brennus and Hannibal on to Attila.

Italy will be hoping that it can find a Cincinnatus, Fabius Maximus or Leo the Great to stand up to the invaders, to the aggressive jaw of Fabien Pelous, leader of the raiders. Will Italy coach Pierre Berbizier be able to repel his compatriots, or will Pelous sack Rome as Genseric did?

Those ancient Romans loved sporting entertainment, hence places like the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus and the Baths of Caracalla. Those were the days of panis et circenses.

The Federation hopes that that spirit of entertainment-seeking is still with the modern Roman and is sending its circus to all the main roads and piazzas of Rome and to schools – troupes of entertainers – trampolinists, clowns, sandwich men, musicians – all with the message of 'RUGBY, PASSIONE ITALIANA!' – Rugby, Italian passion.

The performers will be out non-stop from Saturday until just before kick-off next Saturday. The citizens of the Eternal City and its tifosi, its sports fans, will have a cheerful reminder that the Six Nations is starting, and it starts in Rome.

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