Australia first played Italy on their way home from European tours in the 1970s, though they were not given full international status. The first encounter was in 1973 when Australia ran up 59 points to 21, but the second was the closest ever, with Italy losing by a single point 16-17. Officially the first test between the two countries was in 1983, following an Italian tour of Australia in 1981 in which the visitors acquitted themselves well against secondary opposition. They toured again in 1986 and played their first test match away from home. Two years later the Italians were soundly beaten at the end of the 1988 Wallabies tour, but their next tour of Australia in 1994 saw a big improvement with all state matches won and an unlucky defeat in the Brisbane test match. Since then results have generally been convincing wins to Australia, but the last in 2012 was a close one with Italy unlucky to lose by 3 points.