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Italy beat Spain to book ticket to Cape Town for WXV 2

By PA
Italy celebrate at the end of the TikTok Women's Six Nations match between Italy and Ireland at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on April 15, 2023 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Federugby/Federugby via Getty Images)

Italy secured their place in WXV 2 this October with a comfortable 23-0 victory against Spain in Piacenza on Saturday.

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The Azzurre had never previously played at Stadio Walter Beltrametti and marked their debut at the ground with four tries to confirm their place in the second level of World Rugby’s new annual global 15s competition.

As a result, Italy will travel to Cape Town in October to compete alongside hosts South Africa, Scotland, Japan, Samoa and the USA.

Spain, meanwhile, complete the line-up for WXV 3, which will be played in Dubai and also features Kenya, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Fiji and Colombia. Both tournaments will kick-off on the weekend of 14 October and run for three consecutive weekends.

It means that we now know the full line-up for the inaugural edition of WXV, the top level of which will begin a week later and comprises England, France, Wales, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

Both teams went into Saturday’s play-off determined to claim their place in WXV 2 but it was the hosts, who had won only four of the previous 14 tests between the sides, who opened the scoring.

Michela Sillari split the uprights with a penalty less than two minutes in, and that is the way the score remained until the closing stages of the first half.

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Having survived nine minutes of Abel Capell’s time in the sin-bin, Spain conceded in the 34th minute as Italy captain Elisa Giordano crossed the whitewash.

The Azzurre then extended their lead on the stroke of the half-time, Alyssa D’Incà finishing off a fine team move. Neither of Italy’s tries were converted, giving the hosts a 13-0 lead at the break.

It was one they extended on the hour mark as hooker Vittoria Vecchini came up with her side’s third try at the back of a powerful driving maul.

And the hosts put the result beyond doubt with a little under 10 minutes remaining when Francesca Granzotto linked up with fellow replacement Veronica Madia to score.

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It left the home fans celebrating and means the visitors remain winless since they wrapped up a 10th Rugby Europe Women’s Championship in February.

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