Italy national rugby league team
|Governing body||Federazione Italiana Rugby League|
|Head coach||Carlo Napolitano|
|Most caps||Adam Capovilla|
|Home stadium||Stadio Plebiscito|
| France 29–17 Italy
(Cahors, France; 1951)
| Italy 92–6 Russia
(Stadio Plebiscito, Padova; 15 October 2011)
| Scotland 104–0 Italy
(Stadio Plebiscito, Padova; 17 October 2009)
|Appearances||1 (first time in 2013)|
|Best result||Group stage, 2013|
The Italy national rugby league team represents Italy in international rugby league football. The team dates back from the 1950s after the formation of a domestic competition in the country, and in the 1960s they played Australia, France and a number of English teams.
The game disappeared in Italy in the 1970s and no international matches were played. The team was revived in the mid-90s and Italy began competing in various international tournaments. The team qualified for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, their first time to the tournament.
In 1950, a team from Turin tours the North of England. Italy later runs a domestic competition. A year later the first official match of the Italian national team took place in Cahors, France. Italy lost 29–17 although the Azzurri ended the first half leading 10–7.
Sixteen official matches were played against English teams in the season 1952–53, as well as a triangular tournament between Italy, France and England.
In 1958, in Treviso under the Italian Federation of Amateur Rugby 13 (FIAR 13) was formed and was recognised by the Rugby Football League. With this recognition and funding from England, the sport of rugby league became popular in Italy. In their first year, the FIAR had 24 clubs and 620 players.
In 1960, Italy played Australia in two international matches held in Italy, the results were 37–15 and 67–22 losses. In the late 1960s, threats made by the rugby union governing body Italian Rugby Federation to ban players who played rugby league from their sport had the effect of killing off the sport in Italy by the 1970s. As a consequence the Italian national team ceased to exist.
In the mid-1990s the team were revived by two Italian-Australians, Domenic Pezzano and John Benigni, known as 'The Italian Rugby League A XIII' (IRL A XIII) was formed in 1993. Pezzano coached Italy in the Coca Cola Rugby League World Sevens in Australia with the team being predominately players from Italy and one Italo-Australian player captained the team – Orazio D'arro in this tournament. The IRL recorded a win against Morocco and loses against South Africa.
After that event, the Italia Rugby League began competing in various international tournaments, such as the Super League rugby league nines tournament in Fiji, World Sevens, St.Marys Sevens, Wollogong Sevens and the Mediterranean Cup in 1999. They attempted to qualify for the 2000 Rugby League World Cup and ended up in the Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament in which they were runners-up to British Amateur Rugby League Association.
In 2002, the Azzuri were back playing internationals in Italy with a triangular tournament featuring Scotland and Russia. Italy lost to Tartarstan of Russia but tied their second game with Scotland 16 all. In 2003 Italy played Scotland again and contested the Ionio Cup against Greece, which they won.
Italy won the RLEF European Shield in 2008 and 2009, and as such were drafted into the 2009 European Cup following Russia's withdrawal from the tournament. During this tournament, Italy were handed their record defeat by Scotland, but they did manage to record one victory, over Serbia at The Old Parish in Maesteg, Wales.
In Autumn 2010 Italy embarked on a short tour of Wales, culminating in a match in Wrexham on October 6 in which they faced Wales for the first time in a full Rugby League international. The Italian side obtained a remarkable 13–6 victory, the first against a national team of the British Isles.
2013 World Cup Qualifying
|Official Rankings as of October 2013|
|6||Papua New Guinea||206.00|
In 2011, Italy contested the qualifying tournament for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, competing against Russia, Serbia and Lebanon. Coached by Carlo Napolitano and captained by Anthony Minichiello, Italy's draw with Lebanon was enough for them to gain the 14th and final place in the 2013 World Cup.
2013 World Cup Squad
|2013 World Cup Squad|
|First team squad||Coaching staff|
Updated: 24 September 2013
Italy or Italy A has participated in:
- World Sevens (1995, 1997, plus the qualification tournament in 2003)
- Superleague World Nines (1996)
- Emerging Nations Tournament (2000) – Runners-Up
- Ionio Cup (2003 and 2004) – Winners
- St.Mary's World Sevens - Australia
- Wollongong Sevens - Australia
- Columbus Cup between USA Tomahawks and Italy (2006)- Champions
- RLEF European Shield (2008 and 2009) – Champions
- Aus-Med Shield (2009) – Runners-Up
- Rugby League European Cup (2009)
- 2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers
|2013||26 October||Italy def. Wales 32-16||Milennium Stadium||Cardiff||45,052||2013 Rugby League World Cup|
|2013||19 October||Italy def. England 15–14||Salford City Stadium||Salford||Rugby League International|
|2013||14 September||Italy def. Serbia 32–20||Stadio Augusteo||Este||Rugby League European Shield|
|2013||27 July||Italy def. Germany 66–30||Nordstern Stadion||Karlsruhe||Rugby League European Shield|
|2013||26 May||Italy def. Barbarian Warriors RL 24–4||Stadio San Giorgio||Palmi||1,000||Rugby League International|
|2012||8 September||Russia def. Italy 32–18||SK Nara Stadium||Naro-Fominsk||Rugby League European Shield|
|2012||7 July||Italy def. Germany 72–10||Stadio Beltrametti||Piacenza||Rugby League European Shield|
|2012||9 June||Serbia def. Italy 24–16||Ada Ciganlija||Belgrade||Rugby League European Shield|
|2011||29 October||Italy drew with Lebanon 19–19||Makiš Stadium||Belgrade, Serbia||2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament|
|2011||23 October||Italy def. Serbia 52–6||Makiš Stadium||Belgrade||2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament|
|2011||15 October||Italy def. Russia 92–6||Stadio Communale del Plebiscito||Padova||2,100||2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament|
|2010||6 October||Italy def. Wales 13–6||Racecourse Ground||Wrexham||2,971||Rugby League International|
|2010||25 September||Italy def. Lebanon 24–16||Stadio Plebiscito||Padova||???||Rugby League International|
|2010||22 September||Lebanon def. Italy 16–8||Campo Rugby Monselice||Monselice||???||Rugby League International|
|2009||8 November||Italy def. Serbia 42–14||The Old Parish||Maesteg, Wales||around 2000||Rugby League European Cup|
|2009||24 October||Lebanon def. Italy 86–0||International Olympic Stadium||Tripoli||500||Rugby League European Cup|
|2009||17 October||Scotland def. Italy 104–0||Stadio Plebiscito||Padova||2,139||Rugby League European Cup|
|2009||17 October||Greece A def. Italy A 34–10||Marconi Stadium||Sydney||around 2500||Aus-Med Shield Final|
|2009||10 October||Italy A def. Malta A 34–10||Marconi Stadium||Sydney||around 2500||Aus-Med Shield|
|2009||18 July||Italy def. Germany 42–30||Stadio Plebiscito||Padova||European Shield|
|2009||11 July||Italy def. Czech Republic 38–8||Stadio Plebiscito||Padova||European Shield|
|2009||6 June||Morocco def. Italy 32–10|
|2008||12 July||Italy def. Czech Republic 38–18||Stadio Plebiscito||Padova||European Shield|
|2008||13 June||Italy def. Germany 58–26||Stadio Plebiscito||Padova||European Shield|
|2008||12 June||BARLA def. Italy 64–0||Stadio Plebiscito||Padova||Simone Franchini Nines|
|2006||13 June||South Africa def. Italy 60–20||Monselice||Simone Franchini Nines|
|2006||12 June||South Africa def. Italy 76–6||Monselice||Simone Franchini Nines|
|2006||9 June||BARLA "B" def. Italy 38–18||Monselice||Simone Franchini Nines|
|2006||4 February||Italy A def. USA 38–6||Marconi Stadium||Sydney||2,000||Columbus Cup|
|2004||2 October||Italy def. Greece 58–14||Marconi Stadium||Sydney||Ionio Cup|
|2003||2 October||Italy def. Greece 26–24||Kogarah Jubilee Oval||Sydney||around 3000||Ionio Cup|
|2003||11 July||Scotland A def. Italy 30–10|
|2002||Tartarstan/Russia def. Italy 16–12|
|2000||20 November||BARLA def. Italy 64–0||Dewsbury||Dewsbury||2000 Rugby League Emerging Nations Final|
|2000||17 November||Italy def. USA 40–16||The Shay||Halifax, West Yorkshire||2000 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament|
|2000||15 November||Italy def. Canada 66–6||Cougar Park||Keighley||???||2000 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament|
|1999||17 November||Italy def. France 14–10|
|1999||14 November||Italy def. Morocco 34–0|
|1999||11 November||Lebanon def. Italy 36–16|
|1960||24 January||Australia def. Italy 67–22||Stadio Tenni||Treviso||3,105|
|1960||23 January||Australia def. Italy 37–15||Stadio Euganeo||Padua||3,500|
|1951||15 April||France Amateurs def. Italy 29–17||Cahors|
|1950||2 September||South Wales XIII def. Italia XIII 29–11||Brewery Field||Bridgend|
|1950||26 August||Wigan def. Italia XIII 49–28||Central Park||Wigan|
The overall record for the Italian Rugby League, including all national team, competitions, international friendlies, tours and Italy A matches (all affiliated matches).
- Italia Rugby League History
- RLEF – Italy Profile
- European Cup Relegation Match Report – Italy – Serbia
- Italy V Serbia Match Details
- RLIF; RLIF Rankings
- skysports.com (29 October 2011). "Italy clinch World Cup place". Sky Sports. Retrieved 30 October 2011.