Italy national rugby union team
The Italy national rugby union team (Italian: Squadra nazionale italiana di rugby) represents Italy in men's international rugby union. The team is known as gli Azzurri (the Blues). Savoy blue is the common colour of the national teams representing Italy, as it is the traditional colour of the royal House of Savoy which reigned over the Kingdom of Italy from 1860 to 1946.
|Nickname(s)||Gli Azzurri (The Blues)|
|Union||Federazione Italiana Rugby|
|Head coach||Kieran Crowley|
|Most caps||Sergio Parisse (142)|
|Top scorer||Diego Dominguez (983)|
|Top try scorer||Marcello Cuttitta (25)|
|Home stadium||Stadio Olimpico|
|World Rugby ranking|
|Current||14 (as of 14 November 2020)|
|Lowest||15 (2015 and 2017)|
| Spain 9–0 Italy |
(Barcelona, Spain; 20 May 1929)
| Italy 104–8 Czech Republic |
(Viadana, Italy, 18 May 1994)
| South Africa 101–0 Italy |
(Durban, South Africa, 19 June 1999)
|Appearances||9 (First in 1987)|
|Best result||Pool stage, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019|
Italy has played international rugby since 1929, and for decades was considered one of the best European teams outside the Five Nations Championship. Since 2000, Italy has competed annually in the Six Nations Championship with England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In 2013, they were holders of the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy which is played annually between Italy and France. Italy is ranked 15th in the world by the IRB as of 10 July 2021.
Italian rugby rose to prominence in 2000 when it was added to the Five Nations, creating the Six Nations. Initially on the receiving end of some heavy defeats, the side has grown in competitiveness, recording a fourth-place finish in 2007 and 2013, and one-sided defeats have become less frequent. The Azzurri have shown respectable results when playing at home in recent years: they defeated France 22–21 in the 2011 Six Nations; and during the 2013 Six Nations, they again beat France 23–18, also defeating Ireland 22–15. However, Italy has not won a Six Nations match since their 22–19 away win against Scotland in Round 3 of the 2015 tournament, losing every game since; this equates to a losing run of 30 matches.
Italy has competed at every Rugby World Cup since the first tournament in 1987, where Italy played the inaugural game against New Zealand, but is yet to progress beyond the first round. The team has developed a reputation for being a consistent middle player at the tournament. Italy's results since the inception of a new group stage formula in 2003 have consistently followed a pattern of two wins against Tier 2 teams and two losses against Tier 1 ones; in 2019 however, the game against New Zealand was cancelled due to typhoon Hagibis.