News that two Italian teams will be joining the Magners League from next season has already provoked massive interest in flights, hotel rooms and restaurant bookings for away-fans looking forward to broadening their horizons.
Massimo Linguine is rugby correspondent for the Mailo Westerino in Turin: “Fans are going crazy for all the places they can take their wives for a long weekend, watch a bit of rugby, and enjoy the culture – especially the food and drink. Places like Glasgow and Belfast in January are naturally creating great interest, but the real attractions are proving to be Leckwith, Newport Docks and the Port Talbot Riviera.”
Hoteliers in the bleak Atlantic outpost of Galway are also understood to be bracing themselves for a mini-invasion of overexcited, leather-jacketed Eye-Ties come autumn. “Ah sure, when it comes to a truly barren and windswept environment without hope, aspiration or shelter – we’ll give Llanelli a run for its money alright,” commented Paddy Power, the governor of Connacht. “Sure, our Italian friends will have plenty of space to roam around on derr little mopeds, and ponce about with derr manbags and what have you. And we’ve got the holy stone of Clonrichit for them to visit; at least that’s what we’ll tell the feckin eejits anyway.”