Tito Lupini Death – Friends and Family mourns the passing of the legendary prop and coach of Rugby Rovigo of the 1988 and 1990 championships who died this morning dated July 23, 2021. He died at the age of 65, cause of death is COVID-19.
Tito Lupini death was announced by his nephew Gino on social media. “He had a really long fight” says Gino Lupini
Tito Lupini was born and raised in South Africa by Italian parents, Lupini as player represented the provincial team of Transvaal before moving to Italy in the 1980s and playing for Rovigo, in whose first row constituted a key element for the achievement of the two national titles at the end of the decade (the first being his first title for Rovigo). In the 1989-90 season, won by Rovigo, Lupini had the double role of player and coach.
In the rossoblù jersey he boasts 123 appearances in 9 seasons, in which he also covered the role of coach (as a coach-player he won the Scudetto). He wore the blue shirt 11 times, first born together with Rodolfo Ambrosio. He played in the 1987 World Cup.
Debuting for the Italian national team in the 1985-87 FIRA Trophy against Romania at Constanţa, Lupini was called up by the then-coach Marco Bollesan in the roster which took part in the first edition of the Rugby World Cup, playing all the three matches where Italy played.
After his retirement from the playing career in 1992, Lupini started his coaching career, coaching Rovigo, leading the team to the final for the national championship (then lost) against Benetton Treviso in 1992. He also coached the forwards for the Namibia national team and, more recently, the same role for Rovigo.
SupaRugby announced on Facebook, talked about his life and death.
The former Lions and Italian frontrower Tito Lupini and his mother passed away within 24 hours of each other with Covid related issues.
Tito played in eleven Tests for Italy but the big front rower, who has lived in Johannesburg for most of his life represented Transvaal in approximately 60 matches in the eighties.Tito, whose real name is Emilio, played in the opening match of the maiden World Cup tournament in New Zealand in 1987 ‒ against the All Blacks, no less ‒ and packed down at tighthead in all three Italy’s pool games.With the Springboks still in sports isolation, he was the only South African who played in that tournament.In that opening match, Tito was up against All Black strongman Richard Loe.The most awkward opponent he ever faced in the scrum was Springbok Henning van Aswegen, “probably because of our different styles”.Tito played in the same era as Springbok prop Johan Strauss, turning out in for the Transvaal Rooibokke and Under 25s before he cemented his place in the senior side. In 1985 he regularly captained Transvaal.Tito played for Rovigo for almost eight years, often with Springboks Naas Botha and Gert Smal among his team-mates, and also coached the club to an Italian championship. “I went for six weeks and stayed for eight years,” he recalls.On his return, Tito teamed up with Kitch Christie and Ray Mordt to coach Transvaal, and together they won the Currie Cup in 1993.But he soon had to make a tough decision: to follow a career as a professional rugby coach or start a business and stay with his growing family.He introduced the ciabatta bread to South Africans from a small and humble bakery in a garage and managed a successful business.
He regularly visited Rovigo, where he owned a flat, and also made occasional trips to London, where two of his sons live.
Tito Lupini died on July 23, 2021. Obituary and Funeral Arrangements are still pending…