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Italy appear to be on the rise again. Last year they won their first Six Nations match since 2015 with a victory over Wales in Cardiff. The day marked the arrival of their little whippet at fullback, Ange Capuozzo. Capuozzo carved open the Welsh defence at the death and put Padovani over the line. It was a huge moment for Italian Rugby after they were coming under pressure from Georgia's consistent results.
Unfortunately, Italy don't seem to get much luck at World Cups. They have never made it out of the pool stages and it is looking unlikely that this will happen again this year having been drawn in the same pool as France and New Zealand. Italy will also have one eye over their shoulder looking out for Uruguay who proved to be a banana skin for Fiji at the last World Cup. A loss against Uruguay would mean they would miss out on automatic qualification for the next World Cup and all kinds of questions will be raised about their right to remain in the Six Nations unchallenged.
The Italian governing body took the unusual decision to announce they would be replacing the current Head Coach after the World Cup regardless of results. Crowley has nurtured this current crop of young talent that are breaking through into the first team now. Capuozzo is not the only talent. Paolo Garbisi has been a revelation at fly half, the Cannone brothers are ripping up trees in the pack and Michele Lamaro is the beacon of leadership as captain at the age of 25. There is a golden generation in Italy right now. They may not be ready for this World Cup, but there will be no lack of effort.
World Cup Titles
Best RWC Finish
World Rugby Ranking
(as of 27th August)
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