Italy National Rugby League Team
Also known as the Azzurri, Italy's rugby league side is improving every year, and looks set to take on elite European nations like France, England and Wales in the near future. Largely based at the Stadio Plebiscito in Padua, the team qualified for 2013's Rugby League World Cup and performed solidly. Look forward to seeing them a lot more regularly on the sport's biggest stage when you book Italy rugby league tickets.
Essential background to Italy's rugby league team
The Azzurri have been contending for supremacy in European rugby league since the early 1950s when the first Italian rugby league team toured northern England. By 1958, the national federation had been set up, and club rugby league started to take off in northern Italy.
However, things haven't always gone smoothly. In fact, Italian rugby league almost disappeared in the 1970s when Italian rugby union authorities banned players from playing both codes.
A renaissance blossomed from the late 1980s when a group of Italian-Australians returned to their home country and started to steer the national team. Starting with successful Rugby League Sevens tournaments, these players and managers have been instrumental in achieving Italy's recent successes - including a stunning 15-14 win over England in 2013.
Great moments in Italian rugby league history
Italy's rugby league side has had its share of memorable occasions, despite being out of action for almost 30 years. The most impressive performance in recent times was the victory over England in 2013, but there have been other triumphs.
For example, the Azzurri smashed Russia 92-6 in qualifying for the 2013 World Cup, and also overcame Serbia 52-6 - ensuring they pipped Lebanon to the finals.
Then came probably the most unforgettable Italian rugby league match. In the 2013 World Cup itself, they faced Scotland in Group C and drew 30-30 with their more highly ranked rivals. It was a signal to world rugby that a new European nation had arrived, and that the Azzurri needed to be taken seriously. Expect more great matches when you book Italy rugby league tickets.
Similar events to Italy rugby league tickets
Visiting Italy to watch rugby league is an exciting prospect, but it's not the only way to enjoy the sport in Europe. For instance, you could also catch a French rugby league match (including World Cup fixtures). Or, you could switch codes altogether and watch a Spain Rugby Union match. Either event would be a great addition to a European holiday.