Italy first entered the Six Nations in 2000, when the tournament formally expanded to welcome the Italian squad. To allow this, the tournament’s format was updated and the name was changed from the Five Nations to the Six Nations Championship.
The Azzurri got off to a flying start in the Championship. In fact, Italy’s Six Nations debut concluded with an impressive 34-20 victory against Scotland. Since then, they have enjoyed a series of sporadic wins. This includes victories against Wales in 2003, 2007 and 2022, as well as wins against Scotland in 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. They also defeated France in 2011.
Italy’s best Six Nations finishes were in 2007 and 2013. The Azzurri won two matches in both Championships, which resulted in them taking fourth place – Italy finished above Wales and Scoland in 2007, and Ireland and France in 2013.
To date, Italy have won 13 Six Nations matches. However, they are yet to beat either Ireland or England in the tournament. Overall, Italy’s Six Nations record has seen them finish at the bottom of the table in 18 tournaments. Additionally, Italy endured their longest losing streak between 2016 and 2021, when they failed to win a single Six Nations game.
Italy at the Rugby World Cup
Italy have never won the Rugby World Cup. Although they have competed in every tournament, the Italy national rugby union team is yet to reach the knockout stages. To date, they have crashed out during the pool stage at every World Championship.
Despite this, Italy’s Rugby World Cup campaigns have seen marked improvement. Since 2003, the Azzurri have consistently won two pool-stage matches.
The closest Italy came to the quarter finals was at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. After wins against Romania and Portugal, Italy played their deciding match against Scotland. Despite their best efforts, the game ended 18-16 to Scotland and Italy exited the competition.
Conversely, Italy’s worst Rugby World Cup was the 1999 edition of the tournament. Not only did the Azzurri fail to win a single match, they also suffered their largest Rugby World Cup defeat: a 101-3 loss against New Zealand.