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Italy Rugby World Cup : Related Information
The Italy national rugby union team represents Italy in men's international rugby union. The team is known as gli Azzurri. Savoy blue is the common colour of the national teams representing Italy, as it is the traditional colour of the royal House of Savoy which reigned over the Kingdom of Italy from 1860 to 1946. Italy has competed at every Rugby World Cup since the first tournament in 1987, where Italy played the inaugural game against New Zealand, but is yet to progress beyond the first round. The team has developed a reputation for being a consistent middle player at the tournament. Italy's results since the inception of a new group stage formula in 2003 have consistently followed a pattern of two wins against Tier 2 teams and two losses against Tier 1 ones; in 2019 however, the game against New Zealand was cancelled due to typhoon Hagibis. The current head coach is Franco Smith, and the captain is currently Luca Bigi. The Azzurri took part in the first-ever Rugby World Cup match against New Zealand on 22 May 1987. The match proved a one-sided affair with New Zealand convincing 70–6 winners against a young Italy side. At the 1991 World Cup, Italy were grouped in a tough pool with the likes of England and the All Blacks. They lost both of these games but beat the USA. Italy first played Wales in 1994. At the 1995 World Cup in South Africa, Italy came close to beating England; losing 20–27, but recovered to beat Argentina. They finished third in their pool again below England and Western Samoa, but above the Argentines. In January 1998, Scotland were the victims with Italy winning 25–21 .In the same year in the Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, they narrowly lost 15–23 against England at Huddersfield, but they argued for a try by Alessandro Troncon disallowed by the referee. At the 1999 World Cup, Italy were drawn with New Zealand for the third time and lost again. They did not win a single pool match and went home before the knock-out stage. Italy won two pool games at the 2003 World Cup, defeating both Canada and Tonga, but lost to the All Blacks and Wales. At the 2015 Rugby World Cup, they defeated Romania and Canada but lost to Ireland and France, repeating their performance of the previous three editions.