Greatest XV Profile: Diego Dominguez

It is said you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps. When it comes to international fly-halves, that is certainly true of Diego Dominguez.

It is said you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps. When it comes to international fly-halves, that is certainly true of Diego Dominguez.

The Italian legend is one of only five players to have scored more than 1,000 Test points – only Dan Carter, Jonny Wilkinson, Neil Jenkins and Ronan O’Gara have accumulated more.

Dominguez’s sparkling career saw him represent two countries, appear in three World Cups and help Italy into a new era as the Five Nations became Six.

He was even lured out of retirement and the twilight of his career included some memorable displays which helped Italy make their mark on the Guinness Six Nations.

The 20 years of the Championship in its current form has witnessed some fantastic performers at outside-half – and Dominguez is right up there with the best of them.

To celebrate the Six Nations’ 20th anniversary, you can create your Greatest XV on the Guinness Six Nations app and choose from more than 150 players, including Diego Dominguez.


Born in Cordoba, Argentina, Dominguez took his first steps in international rugby with the country of his birth.

He toured France with the Pumas in 1988 and made his debut the following year, scoring 27 points across two appearances against Chile and Paraguay.

The opportunities afforded to Argentina on the international stage were few and far between, however, and Dominguez moved to Milan in the hope of representing his grandmother’s homeland.

How the Azzurri are glad he did. Dominguez made his Italy bow against France in 1991 and went on to feature in all three World Cups over the course of the decade – scoring 98 points across nine matches.


In 2000, Italy took part in the Six Nations for the first time and Dominguez announced his arrival in style.

Following their bruising experience at the 1999 World Cup – three defeats out of three, including a 101-3 defeat at the hands of New Zealand – few expected Italy to make an instant impression.

When Scotland arrived in Rome on February 5, 2000, however, the hosts quickly made sure the rugby world knew they were to be taken seriously.

Dominguez started well, slotting four first-half penalties as Italy took a 12-10 lead into the break, and was at his inspirational best after the restart.

A 35-metre drop goal was swiftly followed by another from 10 metres further out – a third later in the half sealed a memorable hat-trick.

Two more penalties and the conversion to follow Giampiero de Carli’s late try took his tally for the day to 29 and helped Italy start life in the Championship with a 34-20 win.

Dominguez finished with 61 points in five matches – the last of which, against France, was due to be his international swansong…


The following year, however, Dominguez was back in blue having been persuaded by the Azzurri to come out of retirement.

He remained a consistent points scorer in the Championship, with tallies of 46 in 2001 and 37 in 2002, but Italy remained winless on both occasions.

When the opening round of the 2003 Championship came around, Italy had not tasted success in the competition since the Dominguez-inspired victory over Scotland in their very first match.

The fly-half helped changed all that on a sunny Sunday in Rome, scoring 15 points – including a trademark drop goal – to guide Italy to a 30-22 triumph over Wales.

It was the last fans saw of vintage Dominguez on the international stage. An injury against Ireland the following week brought an early end to what turned out to be his final match for Italy – this time there was no coming back.


In addition to his starring role with the Azzurri, Dominguez enjoyed a successful club career.

He helped Stade Francais win the Top 14 in 1998 and kicked a remarkable 30 points in the 2001 Heineken Cup final against Leicester only to end on the losing side, the English outfit winning 34-30.

He retired with 74 Italy caps to his name and 983 points which, in addition to the 27 scored in an Argentina jersey, took him past the magical four-figure mark.

Since retiring, Dominguez has worked as a pundit for Sky Sports Italia and spent a brief period coaching Toulon in 2016.

Dominguez’s name will always be synonymous with Italy’s early days in the Six Nations, with the gifted playmaker helping his adopted nation make their presence felt in unforgettable fashion.