The les Bleus will welcome the Azzurri to the Stade de France in Paris on the 2nd weekend of the 2020 Six Nations rugby championship. The game has been scheduled to take place on Sunday 9th February 2020 as from 3:00 pm (GMT) and it will be broadcast live on BBC, FR2, Virgin Media, DMAX, and NBC. These two sides will be competing for the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy that was first awarded in 2007 and to which the les Bleus are the defending champions having won 25-14 against Italy in the 2019 Six Nations tournament. The match will be officiated by Irish referee Andrew Brace.
This will be France’s 2nd consecutive home game in the 2020 Six Nations and a win for the home side will go a long way in helping new les Bleus head coach Fabian Galthie’s mission of rejuvenating the bond between the French rugby union and the general public. Having been the dominant side when these sides meet, France are early favorites and as such, Galthie’s side will be looking for a statement win as they continue with their resurgence in preparation of the the 2023 RWC to which they will be hosts.
Just like France, Italy will have a new head coach at the helm when they travel to Paris. Franco Smith will be leading the Azzurri with his main aim being to play a competitive game and chip in with his contribution in growing the game in Italy. With his first game in charge being against Wales, Galthie could possibly wait until match day II against France where his side could fancy a solid result, but this fixture won’t be easy either.
The les Bleus were too clinical against a mistake-strewn Italian side when these sides last met in the 2019 championship. Antoine Dupont scored a first half try while Yoann Huget and Damian Penaud added a try apiece in the second half to cancel out Tito Tebaldi’s try and punish a wasteful Italy side. Allan had scored three penalties for the hosts but Romain Ntamack’s two conversions, a penalty, and a drop-goal were enough to win the game for the visitors at the Stadio Olimpico.
Damian Penaud, Romain Ntamack, and Antoine Dupont starred when these two sides last met in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico in the 2019 championship. That’s despite the fact that Penaud (22), Ntamack (20), and Dupont (22) are very young but look polished and with another full year of gaining experience, they surely will torment the Azzurri at the stade de France. Italy will need to be keen on these young guns if they are to stand a chance away from home.
Newly appointed captain Luca Bigi will have big shoes to fill as he replaces outgoing skipper Sergio Parisse who will be appearing in his final championship and only in home matches. Bigi who has been a regular in the Italian outfit since 2007 will be keen to guide his side to a huge win away from home. Marcello Violi will also be making a comeback after being sidelined due to injury for most part of last season. Other players to watch include Allan Tommaso and Matteo Minnozzi who have enjoyed stellar seasons so far.
Head to Head
France and Italy first met in 1937 and they have played 43 rugby test matches since then. The les Bleus have a superior record having won 40 of those matches with the Azzurri only managing to win on three occasions. No match has ever ended in a draw between these two sides. 22 of these games have been in France with Italy winning just once and losing 21 times to France.
Italy will be a daunting task of registering a first win in France since M