The future of Italian rugby is bright, say Cobham U18s following their end of season tour to Rome last weekend.
Having secured a 47 - 13 home victory over touring Milanese side Rugby Rho earlier in the season, the recently crowned Surrey Division 1 Champions played two of their season's toughest games against well drilled and highly physical Italian sides.
In spite of two excellent tries from Charlie Spawforth, the Cobham team missed a chance to clinch their first match against Italian national champions Capitolina, before conceding a further try to lose 21-12.
After a visit to see a real gladiatorial theatre at the Colosseum, the Cobham boys played their second match against Lazio, another highly rated team. Perhaps unaccustomed to playing under a baking Italian sun and on parched ground, Cobham found themselves three tries down at half time. But a half time talk from coach Chris Gibbons inspired a glorious second half come back with tries from Aiden Findlay, Charlie Spawforth and two from Tom Prigmore, resulting in a 19-22 victory for the touring side.
The Cobham tour party enjoyed some wonderful hospitality, especially a hog roast and feast of local dishes prepared by the Lazio parents. Meanwhile the Dads on tour discovered the real reason why Rome is called the "eternal city".