Nubifragi Marche, in Cantiano, the boys of Rugby Gubbio: playing the team in the mud

by BEATRICE GRECO

Urbino – Some wear a dark shirt, featuring a drawing of a wolf with wide jaws and writing Rugby Gubbio. Others wear the team’s colors, blue and red. Still others wear everyday T-shirts. Same for everyone, though, high boots for facing the mud and the desire to be useful. “One of the rules of rugby is support – explains Al duchy Andrea Frundisipresident of Rugby Gubbio – because when you’re on the field, you always have someone behind you who can help you and pass the ball to you.” It was this spirit that prompted the team to organize immediately to reach Cantiano, devastated by the Burano River flood and infested with mud and debris.

Supportive as in the field

“Roll up your sleeves without thinking too much about it,” says Frondizi. Gubbio’s team has already at other times shown its solidarity with neighboring regions: Immediately after the earthquakes that devastated central Italy between 2016 and 2017, it moved to save the population. This time, too, he did not hesitate. At first, a round of phone calls and WhatsApp messages is organized, then the purchase of shoes, shovels and water withdrawals.

Gubbio rugby team boys who helped the Cantiano nationals on Friday

On Friday afternoon, a few hours after the flood, once the road between Gubbio and Cantiano was cleared and reopened, dozens of players arrived on the streets of the center to help. Aid doubled on Saturday morning and players armed with shovels and willpower became twenty. “They provided support as they usually do when they are playing on the field, I like to think of that,” says Frundisi, who talks not only of physical help but also psychological help: “People are very frustrated, and many activities have been completely submerged in mud. And in these A case, even just a joke, doing something together, can make a difference.”

They call them the Cantiano Angels.

In fact, the rugby boys are trying to keep morale high. They shove hard and with a smile. They slap each other hard on the back to encourage each other and do the same to those who stand still and watch the disaster of their home or store. They make fun of themselves as they move mud-laden furniture, appliances, and machinery. Anything heavy in the village is their work. So they took from Mr. Bartolucci Large fridge, used until the day before to sell soft drinks. They clean and repair the Irish pub in Gianluca aka Rom. It used to be their meeting point after a few games, while now it has 30cm of slime inside. “Without them, I don’t know how I would have done it,” says Gianluca Al Duchy. Then, on Facebook, he identifies them as “angelic of clay and all the alcantiano.”

And in fact, even on the muddy streets of the country, people often refer to the “rugby boys.” “They did a great job,” says a lady, as she continues to clean the living room with the water pump. Another says: “They helped the whole country.” “They were basic,” Georgia wrote on Facebook. Giovanni echoes, “Thanks to these people, we have seen beauty where there is so little beauty.” “My sons really raised me – admits Frundisi – because they did it all naturally. As president of the company, I feel proud of all of them.”