AIRONI ARE SET to be excluded from next year’s RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup, as a result of financial difficulties at the club.
The Italian side have struggled ever since the withdrawal of their main sponsor, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
Along with Treviso, they entered the league two seasons ago. However, they made less of an impact in comparison with their Italian counterparts, and currently sit bottom of the league, with only four wins from 19 games.
They also performed poorly in this season’s Heineken Cup, suffering an embarrassing 82-0 loss to Clermont Auvergne in the process.
The Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR) must now decide whether to replace Aironi, with speculation about the prospect of a centralised, union-funded second region, based in Parma or Calvisano, being formed.