Like the Scotish Rugby team, Italy competed in every Rugby World Cup tournament, making its debut in the inaugural appearance in 1987. They finished third in their pool at every tournament except 1999, when they lost more than two games. They have never qualified to progress to the quarter-finals in their pool because they have never finished in the top two. They have won the most matches among those who have never advanced to the quarter-finals.
Since they finished third in Pool C of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, they qualified to play in the 2011 tournament in New Zealand. A similar performance in that tournament let them qualify for the 2015 World Cup in England, where they retained third place and automatic qualification for France 2003.
- RWC debut: 22 May, 1987 v New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland
- RWC appearances: Played 31 – Won 13 Drawn 0 Lost 18 – Points for 627 Points against 977 – Win ratio 42 per cent
- Most RWC appearances: Sergio Parisse, 15
- Most RWC tries: Marcello Cuttitta, 5
- Best finish: Pool stage
- Qualification for RWC 2023: Third in Pool B at RWC 2019
Most Famous Victory
After a 10-point defeat to New Zealand in 1991, Italy earned a standing ovation from a full Welford Road in Leicester. The defending champions led 16-3 at halftime, but a strong performance by Italy after the break saw them ‘win’ the second half 18-15, giving the All Blacks a final scoreline of 31-21.
Most Memorable Moment
Oscar Collodo, a Swiss-born Rugby World Cup centre, made history by scoring the first drop goal at a Rugby World Cup tournament when he reduced New Zealand’s lead by three points in the 39th minute of the inaugural event in 1987. Since then, there have been 139 more drop goals in the tournament.
Related: Italy Schedule
With a win over Scotland in their final pool encounter at RWC 2007, the Azzurri would have qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time. In Saint-Étienne, captain Alessandro Troncon scored the lone try of the game, but six penalties from Chris Paterson saw the Scots win the decider 18-16.
Parisse, Sergio is the best player in Azzurri history to have competed in five editions of the global extravaganza. In Japan 2019, he joined fellow back-rower and countryman Mauro Bergamasco and Samoan Brian Lima to accomplish the milestone.
Top Record Breaker
Diego Dominguez established the record for most points scored by an Italian in a Rugby World Cup competition (21) when he converted his own try and one more and scored four penalties in a 31-25 win over Argentina at RWC 1995. Rima Wakarua accomplished the same feat in 2003.
Italy Tentative Squad
Head coach Kieran Crowley named a group of 46 players in the middle of May.
Filippo Alongi, Paolo Buonfiglio, Pietro Ceccarelli, Simone Ferrari, Danilo Fischetti, Ivan Nemer, Matteo Nocera, Marco Riccioni, Federico Zani, Luca Bigi, Epalahame Faiva, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Marco Mandredi, Giacomo Nicotera, Niccolò Cannone, Edoardo Iachizzi, Dino Lamb, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Andrea Zambonin, Lorenzo Cannone, Riccardo Favretto, Toa Halafihi, Michele Lamaro (c), Sebastian Negri, Giovanni Pettinelli, Manuel Zuliani.
Alessandro Fusco, Alessandro Garbisi, Martin Page-Relo, Stephen Varney, Tommaso Allan, Giacomo Da Re, Paolo Garbisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Enrico Lucchin, Leonardo Marin, Tommaso Menoncello, Luca Morisi, Pierre Bruno, Ange Capuozzo, Simone Gesi, Monty Ioane, Federico Mori, Paolo Odogwu, Edoardo Padovani.
Related: Live Stream Rugby World Cup in Italy