Saturday, March 21, 2009

Test Match: France v Italy Updated

France v Italy in Rome (6 Nations, Garibaldi Trophy)

There is very little depending on this match. France cannot realistically win the 6 Nations Championship and Italy is destined to hold the wooden spoon.

French pride ans swings and roundabouts may well see a turnaround of playing fortunes for Les Blues. They appear to be playing fantastic one match and then aweful the next. Very sort of French! Perhaps this week they will be sublime.

Marc Lièvremont. Is he another national rugby coach about to get the sack? image thanks to

Italy. Well prior to last week against Wales this was a team totally lacking in confidence. As I said on this blog in reply to a posted comment a week ago, the lack of confidence in the backs has now crept into the forwards, who previously were able to match it with any team in the competition. Last week the Italians were able to match a Welsh side still recovering from a shock loss to France two weeks earlier. This wek who knows, except they will be out to knock over a French team devastated by their heavy loss to England.

Nik Mallett. Is his days as coach of Italy numbered? Image thanks to

Last Five Encounters
09.03.2008 France 25-13 in Paris (6 Nations, Garibaldi Trophy)
03.02.2007 France 39-6 in Rome (6 Nations, Garibaldi Trophy)
25.02.2006 France 37-12 in Paris (6 Nations)
19.03.2005 France 56-13 in Rome (6 Nations)
21.02.2004 France 25-0 in Paris (6 Nations)

Italy first played France in a full international in 1937 when they visited Paris and lost 43-5 in the days when a try was only worth 3 points. These teams then frequently met on equal terms up until 1967 when the Italians lost 60-13. Thereafter the French would only field a second team against the Italians during the early years of organised FIRA competitions. The full French side was not met against until 1995 when France won 34-22 in Buenos Aires during a Latin Cup tournament. Five years later was admitted to the 'International Championship' which became the 6 Nations.

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-France 4th, Italy 10th
Europe Table-France 2nd, Italy 6th

Prediction: Take your pick-Italy to defeat a full French side for only the second time in its rugby history; or France to play superbly and take the Italians apart. France to win by 13 points.



15 Andrea Marcato
14 Giulio Rubini
13 Gonzalo Canale
12 Mirco Bergamasco
11 Matteo Pratichetti
10 Luke McLean
9 Paul Griffen
8 Sergio Parisse, Capt.
7 Mauro Bergamasco
6 Alessandro Zanni
5 Marco Bortolami
4 Santiago Dellape
3 Carlos Nieto
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
1 Salvatore Perugini
16 Franco Sbaraglini
17 Martin Castrogiovanni
18 Carlo Antonio Del Fava
19 Josh Sole
20 Pablo Canavosio
21 Luciano Orquera
22 Roberto Quartaroli
Head Coach: Nik Mallett


15 Damien Traille
14 Maxime Medard
13 Florian Fritz
12 Yannick Jauzion
11 Cedric Heymans
10 Francois Trinh-Duc
9 Morgan Parra
8 Imanol Harinordoquy
7 Julien Bonnaire
6 Thierry Dusautoir
5 Sebastien Chabal
4 Lionel Nallet, Capt.
3 Sylvain Marconnet
2 Dimitri Szarzewski
1 Fabien Barcella
16 William Servat
17 Thomas Domingo
18 Jerome Thion
19 Louis Picamoles
20 Frederic Michalak
21 Mathieu Bastareaud
22 Julien Malzieu
Head Coach: Marc Lièvremont

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