Italy ended their time with Nick Mallett as coach, finishing third in pool 'C' behind Ireland and Australia. Although they are now giving the Six nations and Southern Hemisphere teams a good game, they still lack the flare and dash in their three-quarters line to challenge at the top table. It will be interesting to see if they can find some backs to go with their pack and compete at the next cup in England 2015.
Italy's first Rugby World Cup match was against New Zealand on 22nd May 1987. New Zealand ran out 70-6 winners and one of the stars that day was John Kirwan. Kirwan took the ball from his own line and went around almost every Italian player completing a 100 meter sprint to seal New Zealand's victory. As Italy entered the Rugby World Cup 2003, their coach was the same John Kirwan, at 37 years old, he was one of the international games youngest coaches. He is considered to have taken Italy forward and now they compete and win against the top nations. The had been looking to continue their development under Nick Mallett in New Zealand, but although they are still competitive they were not able to unseat the top two in the pool.
When Europe's Five Nations tournament was expanded to Six, it was to include Italy. Italy proceeded in 2000 to win their very first Six Nations game, which was a 34-20 win at home to Scotland and gave them credibility on the European stage. Italy have since repeated this feat and have cemented their position in the six nations where they now compete against all the sides running France and England close though not beating them. Their chances of progression from Pool C must be a tough ask with Australia and Ireland the favourites.
Italy have new shirts for this years Cup. The shirt has kept to its roots as the home version stays royal blue. The alternate is all white, a first for the shirts made by Kappa is developments on the tight fit and gripper panels on the chest and torso. To place your order and view other Italy shirts visit the Italy Rugby World Cup Shirts page.
The Azzurri Currently ranked 11th in the world and with its position as a Six Nations team, Italy qualified through finishing third in their pool in France 2007. They should think they can beat Russia and USA, however it is unlikely they will beat either Australia or Ireland and so they will probably repeat their position in France 2007 with a third place in Pool 'C'.