Old Boys’

Kiwi-born Italian rugby international Dean Budd is coming to terms with his adopted home’s coronavirus crackdown, confined to the city of Treviso as the nation remains in lockdown.

Having been in Italy since 2012, Budd qualifes for Italy through residency, representing the Azzuri on 23 occasions since his Test debut in 2017.

However, to combat the spread of coronavirus, Italy is now in a state of lockdown, with Budd among them.

Budd and his family have been left trying to pass the time while Treviso waits for the all-clear.

“Sleep in as long as possible just to make the day go by as fast as possible,” Budd jokes with 1 NEWS.

“The girlfriend and I, she’s painting most of the day, and I’m playing PlayStation.”

The Italian coronavirus spread is no joke, though, with the death toll continuing to rise as officials weigh up possible moves.

“We’ve all been kind of tarnished by this coronavirus brush.

“We don’t know the implications and things are getting worse day by day.

“That’s a kind of scary aspect of it.”

As an athlete, Budd’s outlook has changed, too. Italy’s Six Nations campaign has halted completely, with matches to be played as late as October.

The coronavirus is even affecting the way that Budd and his teammates can train, with team protocol stating players stay a metre away from anyone else.

“As a sportsman, we just want to get out there and do our jobs and give people a little bit of hope and something to watch on telly while they’re stuck at home.

“Sport’s something that can really put a smile on anyone’s face at any time.

“There’s a bit of fear factor as well, you know. If I can do something at home I’d rather do it at home than go and train with 20 other boys in a sweaty gym.”


Old Boy Dean Budd – Life in Italy after Coronavirus lockdown