FIR To Become Shareholder In Celtic Rugby

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10 October 2018

The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) and PRO14 Rugby have announced that an agreement in principle will see the FIR become a shareholder of Celtic Rugby in the coming year.

Not only will this ensure that two Italian teams will compete in the Guinness PRO14 until 2023, it also provides commitments around increased funding and upgrading of facilities for Benetton Rugby and Zebre.

Subject to the FIR fulfilling certain conditions, this new deal will represent a significant step forward for both Italian rugby and PRO14 rugby and lays out a pathway to build upon the recent success of Benetton Rugby and Zebre in the Guinness PRO14.

FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi said: "Being part of Guinness PRO14 is crucial to continue increasing the strength of elite rugby in Italy, and we are thrilled to be joining PRO14 Rugby on the same footing as our partners. Right from the very start of my first stint as FIR president, I underlined that the ambition of becoming a legitimate partner was vital, and I'm glad we've finally achieved it.

"I'd wish to thank Martin (Anayi) and his organization for strongly believing in Italian Rugby and I'm sure that this new deal will give a further boost to our participation, on and off the field."

Martin Anayi, PRO14 Rugby CEO, commented: "Over the past three years the Guinness PRO14 has been transforming on and off the pitch and all of our stakeholders have played a key role in this success. Italian

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