Ci Mancherai Giada

The new normal they call it, well the new normal seems to involve an awful lot of farewells, to things we enjoyed, to things that brightened up our days, and to things that brought a smile to our faces.

One of those farewells, and one of the very sad ones, is having to say goodbye to Giada Franco.

That smile as broad as Vesuvius, and as warm as a Napoli summer evening, will no longer brighten up the dark winter days at Surrey Sports Park and the Stoop.

The Italian flanker will not be running out with Harlequins Women for the 2020/21 season, at whenever that might start.

A force of nature on and off the field, she will be missed by team mates, fans and ageing journalists in equal measure, but Harlequins loss is very definitely Rugby Colorno’s gain.

In this strange and troubling pandemic, there isn’t a face mask big enough to cover that wonderful huge Mediterranean smile, and there isn’t one big enough to cover our sadness at her departure.

The number 7 is associated with good luck and magical properties, it is the basis for many myths and folklore.

Also the number 7 represents the jackpot on slot machines, and Quins certainly hit the jackpot last season, when Giada became a permanent fixture in the number 7 shirt.

As the new normal stretches into August, the future remains uncertain for the game of rugby, but one thing can be guaranteed, there will always be a welcome here for Giada Franco, she will forever be a part of this clubs rich history.

Take care Giada, Buona fortuna ea presto.

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