Toiling somewhat in obscurity, USA forward Lou Stanfill has become the star player for Rugby Vicenza in Italy’s Serie A league.
Serie A is the second-division pro league in Italy, and Stanfill is on the team to help Vicenza earn promotion to the Italian Eccellenza, their top national league; he’s doing all he can.
Last week, Stanfill was massive as the No. 8 helped the Rangers beat Zhermack Badia 47-15. The former Cal All American inserted into the line, impressed observers with his athleticism, and making one-handed catches to carry the team forward.
One report said his arms were like tentacles.
Stanfill bashed holes in the defense, and stopped them up on when the other team had the ball. Brought in to take control of games, Stanfill has done just that, taking Vicenza to 2nd in the league.
“We are doing alright,” Stanfill told RUGBYMag.com. “I get my hands on the ball quite often, which I am happy to work with. We are doing well this season. When we are full strength, we have quite a few weapons, which makes my job much easier. I am feeling more confident about my play in recent days. Much is expected of me here, so it gives me a chance to expand my game a little.”
Stanfill, who helped NYAC win the final Super League title in 2012, said the Serie A is comparable to the Super League in the USA. Taking the star role is a good one for him. Stanfill has played all five 2nd and back-row positions for the USA, and prides himself on his ability to get go-forward for the Eagles. Lately, in part due to how the team’s personnel shakes out, he has been playing lock. At Vicienza, he certainly seems to enjoy playing No. 8.
Vicenza is a relatively small market, with a population in the mid-100,000s. The construction of a new US Army base nearby has meant more and more Americans have moved to the area. Known for essentially shutting down at mid-day, the town doesn’t push the rat race too hard, and Stanfill has gotten used to that after living in New York.
“It’s sort of like mandatory nap time,” Stanfill said of the town’s habit of closing up for lunch. “I live a stone’s throw from city center, so I am able to walk most everywhere. Vicenza is a beautiful city, so walking around is always nice. I have made friends with some Americans that work on base, but none of them soldiers, as most of them are deployed. All in all, I am very happy with the city and my club. It is scenic, the people are great and the food is delicious!”
Vicenza next takes on Amatori Catania Sunday.