As part of the festive calendar, there were several high profile rugby clashes throughout Europe today. In the Pro12, Munster hosted Leinster in a bruising encounter in Limerick, while derbies occurred in Scotland and Wales.
The league, although not noted for its glamour, awoke for this round of fixtures as the local rivalries added a spice to proceedings.
Far from the lights of Thomond Park, or the stands of Murrayfield and the Principality Stadium, Zebre took on Treviso in the league’s basement clash.
For the record, Treviso won 23-12. Maybe today was an eye-opener, or perhaps the straw that broke the camel’s back, but reports are emerging that Zebre will be replaced in the league next season.
Zebre are rooted to the bottom of the table, and have struggled in recent seasons. The Parma-based side have struggled to progress in recent years, and there are talks that their days are numbered.
According to rumours today, there could be a Rome-based club in the league next season, taking Zebre’s place in the league.
— Paul Tait (@Argentina_2027) December 26, 2016
The reasoning could be to help grow the game in a primary metropolis of the country, and help foster a culture of the sport.