On 13 August 1973 Richard Greenwood, former captain of England’s rugby union team and father of a 10 month-old son, Will, who would be part of the World Cup winning team in Sydney in 2003, arrived in Rome to become player-coach of Algida Roma. He stayed for five years, leading his fellow-players to undreamt-of levels of fitness and skill while becoming the person described by his Italian friends as a unique blend of English humour, genio napoletano and spirito romanesco. What follows is his story of his move between two different rugby worlds which nonetheless appear to play the game according to the same rules ….
‘I am in the Osteria dell’Orso on the Friday evening before the 2016 Six Nations rugby match between Italy and England at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. I am happily involved with a party of 20 or so of my son Will’s clients and sponsors, but, happier still, I am surrounded by Roman friends and team mates from my time in the 1970s when I was playing for Rugby Roma….