The Azzurre secured their second win of the championship in Cardiff
Italy Women’s Six Nations Squad 2022
Michela Sillari’s last-minute penalty ensured Italy finished their Women’s Six Nations campaign on a high by beating Wales 10-8 in Cardiff.
The Azzurre had taken advantage of two yellow cards – for Wales’ Robyn Wilkins and Sioned Harries – to lead 7-0 at half-time. Sara Barattin scored the try around the half-hour mark and Sillari converted.
However, in a tight contest Wales came back in the second half and led 8-7 going into the final five minutes after Keira Bevan scored a try to add to Wilkins’s earlier penalty.
When awarded a penalty in the final minute, though, Sillari stepped up to kick the winning points – a repeat of Italy’s dramatic late victory over Wales in the men’s championship.
Italy team to face Wales – Saturday 30 April
Manuela Furlan (captain); Aura Muzzo, Michela Sillari, Beatrice Rigoni, Maria Magatti; Veronica Madia, Sara Barratin; Silvia Turani, Melissa Bettoni, Lucia Gai, Valeria Fedrighi, Giordana Duca, Beatrice Veronese, Ilaria Arrighetti, Elisa Giordano.
Replacements: Vittoria Vecchini, Gaia Maris, Sara Seye, Sara Tounesi, Isabella Locatelli, Francesca Granzotto, Alyssa D’Incà, Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi.
Italy 20-13 Scotland
The fourth round of the Women’s Six Nations delivered a tight affair in Parma, with Italy eventually coming through to beat Scotland 20-13 and secure their first win of this year’s championship.
Helen Nelson and Michela Sillari exchanged penalties in the first quarter before Scotland started to exert their dominance at scrum time around the half-hour mark.
From a penalty at the set-piece they kicked deep into the Italian half and continued to put pressure on the hosts through their driving maul. From one lineout in the 22, Scotland’s forwards went through a series of pick-and-goes close to the line before Emma Wassell powered over.
That gave Scotland a 10-3 lead at the break but Italy came out firing in the second period, their own maul kicked into gear and Melissa Bettoni crossed within a few minutes of the restart.
Sillari’s conversion levelled the scores before a penalty in the 55th minute gave them a three-point lead.
The momentum of the match petered out somewhat with numerous stoppages for injuries as the rain teemed down. But as it headed towards the final ten minutes the Azzurre produced a couple of remarkable mauls, making huge metres, and when they were in Scottish territory they scored a second try through Silvia Turani.
Nelson slotted a late penalty to reduce the deficit but Italy kept Scotland pinned in their own half for the final minutes to close out the victory, with Player of the Match Sillari winning the crucial turnover penalty at the end.
Italy team to play Scotland – Saturday 23 April
Manuela Furlan (captain); Aura Muzzo, Michela Sillari, Beatrice Rigoni, Maria Magatti; Veronica Madia, Sofia Stefan; Melissa Bettoni, Vittoria Vecchini, Lucia Gai, Valeria Fedrighi, Giordana Duca, Beatrice Veronese, Isabella Locatelli, Ilaria Arrighetti.
Replacements: Silvia Turani, Gaia Maris, Michela Merlo, Sara Tounesi, Alessandra Frangipani, Sara Barattin, Alyssa D’Inca, Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi.
Ireland 29-8 Italy
Italy suffered a third straight defeat in this year’s Women’s Six Nations, going down 29-8 to Ireland at Musgrave Park in Cork.
They took an early lead through a Beatrice Rigoni penalty but didn’t trouble the scoreboard again until the 72nd minute when hooker Melissa Bettoni broke off a rolling maul to touch down.
The Azzurre’s preparations for this match were disrupted with players forced to withdraw late on due to Covid but the attacking ingenuity they showed against France in round one was missing here and they were overpowered up front.
They host Scotland in round four and will be hoping for their first win of the championship.
Italy team to play Ireland – Sunday 10 April
Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi; Manuela Furla (captain), Alyssa D’Inca, Beatrice Rigoni, Maria Magatti; Veronica Madia, Sara Barattin; Gaia Maris, Melissa Bettoni, Lucia Gai, Sara Tounesi, Valeria Fedrighi, Beatrice Veronese, Isabella Locatelli, Elisa Giordano.
Replacements: Vittoria Vecchini, Emanuela Stecca, Sara Seye, Alessia Margotti, Alessandra Frangipani, Sofia Stefan, Beatrice Capomaggi, Federica Cipolla.
Italy 0-74 England
Another week, another heavy Women’s Six Nations defeat for Italy. This time they lost 74-0 to England in Parma.
The Azzurre did prove competitive at the breakdown, winning several penalties as England held onto the ball under pressure from Italian jacklers, but they weren’t able to demonstrate the same attacking flair they did against France last weekend.
The hosts did make a nice break just before half-time but it came to nothing and they had few other opportunities. Their eagerness to attack from their own 22 rather than clear, coupled with unforced errors, also meant they piled pressure on themselves at times.
These opening matches against the two best teams in the championship were always going to be tough for Italy, but they will be hoping for better results in the next three rounds, starting with Ireland on Sunday.
Italy team to play England – Sunday 3 April
Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi; Aura Muzzo, Michela Sillari, Beatrice Rigoni, Maria Magatti; Veronica Madia, Sofia Stefan; Gaia Maris, Melissa Bettoni, Lucia Gai, Sara Tounesi, Giordana Duca, Francesca Sberna, Isabella Locatelli, Elisa Giordano (captain).
Replacements: Vittoria Vecchini, Francesca Barro, Sara Seye, Valeria Fedrighi, Beatrice Veronese, Sara Barattin, Alyssa D’Inca, Manuela Furlan.
France 39-6 Italy
Italy showed plenty of attacking endeavour in their opening 2022 Women’s Six Nations match but ultimately lost 39-6 to France in Grenoble
Beatrice Rigoni, on the occasion of her 50th cap, was the star of the show with her deft offloads and accurate kicking game, yet for all the breaks and chances Italy created, they were unable to get over the whitewash.
Instead, it was France who scored the tries. They touched down five times in all, with three of those coming in the final quarter as they wrapped up the bonus-point win.
The fact that Italy’s attack clicked far more than France’s given that they haven’t played a Test since September is a definite plus, but they couldn’t find a way through the blue wall. And the challenges don’t get any easier, with England coming to Parma in round two.
Italy team to play France – Sunday 27 March
Manuela Furlan (captain); Aura Muzzo, Michela Sillari, Alyssa D’Inca, Maria Magatti; Beatrice Rigoni, Sofia Stefan; Gaia Maris, Melissa Bettoni, Lucia Gai, Sara Tounesi, Giordana Duca, Francesca Sberna, Isabella Locatelli, Elisa Giordano.
Replacements: Vittoria Vecchini, Emanuela Stecca, Sara Seye, Valeria Fedrighi, Alessandra Frangipani, Sara Barattin, Veronica Madia, Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi.
Italy Women’s Six Nations Squad 2022
Italy’s head coach Andrea di Giandomenico has named his 33-player squad for the upcoming Women’s Six Nations.
There is a mixture of experience and fresh blood in the team, with Manuela Furlan continuing as captain. Sara Barattin is also involved after becoming the first Italian woman to reach 100 caps. Beatrice Rigoni, Michela Sillari and Sofia Stefan are also among the veterans in the side.
Di Giandomenico has also named six uncapped players in Francesca Barro, Alessia Margotti, Emma Stevanin, Alessandra Frangipani, Emanuela Stecca and Francesca Granzotto.
The coach will be hoping the blend of old and new will see them equal, if not beat, their best-ever finish in the tournament. That achievement came in 2019 when they finished second.
“We will be able to offer playing opportunities to less experienced players and try some variations within our staff, to recover some athletes and see new ones in the context of competition,” Di Giandomenico said.
“We believe we have a competitive squad, aware of the commitment necessary to guarantee the high performance of the group for the entire duration of the event. We have worked well to prepare for the many challenges of this season: the field, as always, will give us the answers.”
Italy Women’s Six Nations Squad 2022
Sara Barattin (11 Sep 1986/Arredissima Villorbas/Scrum-half/104)
Beatrice Capomaggi (29 Apr 1997/Arredissima Villorba/Centre/4)
Alyssa D’Inca (23 Mar 2002/Arredissima Villorba/Centre/8)
Manuela Furlan (30 Jun 1988/Arredissima Villorba/Full-back/85)
Francesca Granzotto (22 Mar 2002/Unione Rugby Capitolina/Wing/Uncapped)
Veronica Madia (16 Jan 1995/Rugby Colorno/Fly-half/27)
Maria Magatti (21 Aug 1992/CUS Milano/Wing/42)
Aura Muzzo (12 Apr 1997/Arredissima Villorba/Centre/22)
Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi (6 Dec 2001/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Wing/12)
Beatrice Rigoni (1 Aug 1995/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Centre/53)
Michela Sillari (23 Feb 1993/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Centre/67)
Sofia Stefan (12 May 1992/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Wing/65)
Emma Stevanin (11 Apr 2002/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Fly-half/Uncapped)
Ilaria Arrighetti (2 Mar 1993/Stade Rennais/Back-row/52)
Francesca Barro (4 Aug 1999/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Prop/1)
Ilaria Bettoni (7 May 1991/Stade Rennais/Hooker/66)
Giordana Duca (9 Sep 1992/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Lock/26)
Valeria Fedrighi (5 Sep 1992/Toulouse/Lock/30)
Alessandra Frangipani (12 Jul 2oo3/Villorba Rugby/Back-row/1)
Giada Franco (11 Jul 1996/Rugby Colorno/Back-row/21)
Lucia Gai (3 May 1991/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Prop/80)
Elisa Giordano (1 Nov 1990/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Back-row/53)
Isabella Locatelli (23 Oct 1994/Rugby Colorno/Back-row/32)
Gaia Maris (5 Dec 2001/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Hooker/10)
Alessia Margotti (28 Feb 2000/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Back-row/Uncapped)
Michela Merlo (9 Apr 1986/Rugby Colorno/Prop/11)
Francesca Sberna (6 Dec 1992/Calvisano/Back-row/8)
Sara Seye (26 Aug 2000/Kawasaki Robot Calvisano/Prop/5)
Emanuela Stecca (24 Feb 1997/Villorba Rugby/Hooker/1)
Sara Tounesi (19 Jul 1995/ASM Romagnat/Prop/20)
Silvia Turani (6 Jul 1995/FC Grenoble/Prop/18)
Vittoria Vecchini (13 Jan 2002/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Hooker/7)
Beatrice Veronese (11 Mar 1996/Valsugana Rugby Padova/Back-row/8)
Italy Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2022
(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)
Sun 27 Mar, France 39-6 Italy
Sun 3 Apr, Italy 0-74 England
Sun 10 Apr, Ireland 29-8 Italy
Sat 23 Apr, Italy 20-13 Scotland
Sat 30 Apr, Wales 8-10 Italy
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