Italy national rugby league team

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Italia
Badge of Italia team
Nickname The Azzuri
Governing body Federazione Italiana Rugby League
Region Europe
Head coach Trent Barrett
Captain Anthony Minichiello
Most caps Adam Capovilla
Home stadium Stadio Plebiscito
RLIF ranking 13th
Colours
First international
 France 29–17 Italy 
(Cahors, France; 1951)
Biggest win
 Italy 92–6 Russia 
(Stadio Plebiscito, Padova; 15 October 2011)
Biggest defeat
 Scotland 104–0 Italy 
(Stadio Plebiscito, Padova; 17 October 2009)
World Cup
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.

Currently the team is ranked 12th in the world, behind Scotland. Australian Trent Barrett coaches the team, and Sydney Roosters full back Anthony Minichiello captains the side.

History[edit]

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.

In 2006, Italy played three matches, two against South Africa and one against British Amateur Rugby League Association.[1] In 2006 the Federazione of Italia Rugby League (FIRL) were founded.

The Federazione of Italia Rugby League was officially moved to the "official observer" status by the Rugby League European Federation from an unranked position on 15 April 2008.[2]

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.[3][4]

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.[5]

In 2013 they won a warm up match against 3rd ranked England 15–14 making it their most stunning victory.[6]

2013 World Cup Qualifying[edit]

Official Rankings as of December 2013[7]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Steady  Australia 1,108.00
2  New Zealand 742.00
3  England 570.00
4  France 233.00
5 Increase  Fiji 201.00
6 Decrease  Wales 173.00
7  Papua New Guinea 166.00
8  Samoa 145.00
9 Steady  Ireland 128.00
10  United States 127.00
11 Decrease  Scotland 101.00
12 Increase  Italy 84.00
13 Decrease  Tonga 54.00
14  Cook Islands 48.00
15  Russia 42.00
16 Steady  Canada 40.00
17 Decrease  Serbia 38.00
18  Germany 30.00
19  Norway 28.00
20  Lebanon 23.00
21 Increase  Ukraine 19.00
22 Decrease  Malta 19.00
23  Jamaica 15.00
24 Increase  Netherlands 10.00
25 Decrease  South Africa 8.00
26  Denmark 6.00
27  Czech Republic 5.00
28 Increase New  Greece 5.00
29 Decrease  Belgium 4.00
30  Latvia 4.00
31  Sweden 1.00
32 Steady New  Hungary 1.00
33 Steady New  Morocco 0.00

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.[8]

2013 World Cup Squad[edit]

Italy squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. The azurri will play Scotland and Tonga and then play an inter-group game against Wales.


2013 World Cup Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach



Legend:
  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain

Updated: 24 September 2013
Source(s): 2013 World Cup Squad


Competitions[edit]

Italy or Italy A has participated in:

Results[edit]

Year Date Result Venue City Crowd Competition
2013 10 November Tonga def. Italy 16-0 The Shay Halifax 10,266 2013 Rugby League World Cup
2013 3 November Italy drew with Scotland 30-30 Derwent Park Workington 7,280 2013 Rugby League World Cup
2013 26 October Italy def. Wales 32-16 Millennium Stadium Cardiff 45,052 2013 Rugby League World Cup
2013 19 October Italy def. England 15–14 Salford City Stadium Salford 4,382 Rugby League International Test Match
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 Test Match
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 Test Match
2010 25 September Italy def. Lebanon 24–16 Stadio Plebiscito Padova  ??? Rugby League International Test Match
2010 22 September Lebanon def. Italy 16–8 Campo Rugby Monselice Monselice  ??? Rugby League International Test Match
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

Overall Record[edit]

The overall record for the Italian Rugby League, including all national team, competitions, international friendlies, tours and Italy A matches (all affiliated matches).

Against Played Won Lost Drawn  % Won
Total 46 23 21 2 50.00%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]