Fixture in focus 2019: Italy v France

Italy have the chance to turn the tide on France when the two sides meet in Rome for an epic Guinness Six Nations showdown in March.

Italy have the chance to turn the tide on France when the two sides meet in Rome for an epic Guinness Six Nations showdown in March.

Since their first meeting in 1937, Italy have won only three times against the Frenchmen in 40 outings, but recent affairs have been anything but uncompetitive.

When the two nations met in Marseille in February, France ran out 34-17 victors on a historic day in the competition as Les Bleus played outside the capital for the first time.

Mathieu Bastareaud excelled in the fixture as France ended a nine-game winless streak in front of their adoring supporters.

Italy were in the game at the break with the tie tightly poised at 11-7, but the boot of Maxime Machenaud and tries from Hugo Bonneval and Bastareaud clinched the win.

When the pair meet at the Stadio Olimpico on March 16th, on the final day of the 2019 Guiness Six Nations Championship, both Italy and France will be vying to end their campaign in style.

In the 19 Championship battles between the two sides, France have only lost twice in Italy and they came back-to-back in 2011 and 2013.

On the second of those two meetings, the Italians shocked the competition by beating France 23-18 as Martin Castrogiovanni’s converted try sealed a historic victory.

But France will be confident of replicating the form that saw Les Bleus seal an impressive 40-18 victory on their last appearance in Rome.

Camille Lopez kicked a mammoth 20 points in the encounter as France brought to an end a tough run of away form in style with a comfortable bonus-point victory.


History is everywhere you look in The Eternal City as classical ruins sit side-by-side with Baroque fountains and its historic cobbled streets.

Alongside taking in a Guinness Six Nations contest, there is possibly too much for people to do and see in a city of sheer spectacle and wonder.

The Colosseum in Rome and the Arch of Constantine are must-see, while the Vatican City is an experience like no other.

The Pantheon is a Roman wonder and the Trevi Fountain is a beautiful sight to behold.

Aside from the sights, Rome is a hotbed of fantastic food and drink – whether an authentic pizza, pasta or even one of the many quaint bars dotted around the area is your style.


The historic Stadio Olimpico is Rome’s largest sports stadium, with a 70,634 capacity, and is famous for its housing of football, serving as Roma and Lazio’s home ground, as well as its rugby.

It has hosted four European Cup finals alongside its use as the home of Italian rugby and athletics.

The stadium is located north of Rome, 4 kilometres north of the Vatican City. It is situated within the Foro Italico sports complex.

To get to the stadium by car, you should head to the Rome ringroad (G.R.A.), and then take exit N5 towards Flaminia (on the northern side of the G.R.A.) and then follow the signs to Foro Italico.

There are no metro stations close to the stadium, so tram is your best bet. Tram 2 passes the stadium and can be taken from metro stop Flaminio on line A, which is close to the Villa Borghese gardens and Piazza del Popolo.

Take the tram in the direction of Mancini and get off at stop Mancini.

Alternatively, visitors can get bus 32 just north of Vatican City at metro stop Ottaviano. Take the bus in the direction of Tor di Quinto and get off at stop Stadio Tennis.

Bus 280 is another option and can be caught from the Castel Sant’Angelo or metro Lepanto. Take the bus in the direction of Mancini and get off at stop Stadio Tennis.