Since playing the very first match in the history of the tournament – in 1987 against New Zealand – Italy have never missed a Rugby World Cup.

Between winger Marcello Cuttitta, their all-time top try-scorer(25, including six at Rugby World Cup), fly-half Diego Dominguez, Italy’s top point-scorer of all time (983), the brilliant Alessandro Troncon at nine, and the iconic back-row Sergio Parisse, their most capped with 142 appearances to date, Italy’s RWC history has been told by the colourful characters in its past.

In France in 2023, Italy will be playing at a 10th Rugby World Cup and will be looking to make the quarter-finals for the first time.

Finishing third in their pool in the last five editions, Italy will be looking to upset the odds and reach the knockout stages. To do that they will surely have to overcome either New Zealand or France, Uruguay and Namibia. Italy’s key players, including the likes of Paolo Garbisi, Ange Capuozzo and Stephen Varney in a youthful squad led by captain Michele Lamaro, will have to play some of the nation’s best-ever rugby on the game’s biggest stage to achieve that.