Italy´s home match against Argentina on November 13 could become a fixture of global importance like never before. It will be the first time the two Tier One rugby nations will have played each other since the election of Pope Francis earlier this month. The head of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malago, said on Wednesday that he would like Pope Francis to attend Italy´s test match against Los Pumas. Malago said "We have a dream, we'd like to have Pope Francis, who is a man of sport, be our guest at the Stadio Olimpico (in Rome) for the test match against Argentina".
Pope Francis is the first Argentine, and indeed first Latin American to be elected head of the Catholic Church. His positition is certain to bring new found attention to his home country which is good news for rugby as the desire of Argentina hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 will continue to gain momentum. Argentina´s match against Italy will be the second of three against European opposition in November. The tour will also see Argentina facing England and Wales.