Italy’s Azzurri have for about as long as they have been in the Six Nations had their participation questioned.
Initially picking up at least one win per season, Italy have yet to really position themselves as challengers for European Rugby’s Top International tournament.
Things had become so bad that they would go on to 32 consecutive Six Nations fixtures before finally ending the streak in the last game of the 2022 tournament.
That win over Wales could not have come at a more opportune time and appears to have been a catalyst for a resurgence of such.
Starting this November series with a thumping of Samoa, the stage was set for an improvement autumn.
Few would’ve believed that just a week later they would be recording a landmark 28 – 27 win over a side they had never beaten in the Wallabies.
Absolutely massive for Italian rugby #ITLvsAUS pic.twitter.com/ICu83F5EN1
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 12, 2022
Kieran Crowley’s coaching staff must take an immense amount of credit for this turn around which has been built on a base of young talent.
Names such as Garbisi, Capuozzo, Varney and Polledri are the driving force behind a new generation who dare to dream and do not appear to carry the baggage of Italian teams of yesteryear.
Focusing in on Ange Capuozzo for a second, the Toulouse fullback announced himself to the world stage in the famous win in Cardiff last season.
Torching the Welsh defence to set up what would be the winning try, Capuozzo showed not only sublime skill but also the temperament needed to be a top class international.
Not since the great Diego Dominguez have the Italians had such a talented backline player capable of turning a game almost singlehandedly.
Having now ticked off another Tier One giant from their list, it would appear things may finally be turning for Italian Rugby after a twenty-year slump.
We take part of rugby Italian milestone #RugbyItaly#ITAvAUS
Grazie bella Italia 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/IwAZTjizKK
— #RugbyItaly (@RugbyIta) November 12, 2022