Things came in pairs for Italy’s Vittoria Vecchini in Round 2 of the Guinness Women's Six Nations,

Most notably, the two tries the Azzurre’s number two scored in Italy’s 27-21 win over Ireland, but also the number of Easter eggs she ate after the match.

She certainly had plenty to celebrate. Vecchini’s performance earned her the Player of the Match award after she grabbed those tries off the back of rolling mauls in each half. They, and a try apiece from Valeria Fedrighi and Aura Muzzo, helped Italy’s women become the first Italian national team to record a victory on Irish soil in the Championship.

Italy did it the hard way after losing fullback Vittoria Minuzzi to a yellow card, and conceding a penalty try after seven minutes. Then, at the end, they had to withstand an Irish assault on the line before Beatrice Veronese won a vital turnover, allowing captain Sofia Stefan to kick the ball dead to claim a bonus-point victory.

Read the latest from Fantasy Rugby Geek - including Vittoria Vecchini's high-scoring exploits.

The result meant that Giovanni Raineri's side began the fallow week with confidence high after recovering from their 48-0 defeat to England, and ready to start their preparations for their Round 3 match away to France with renewed vigour.

“It was an emotional win, and very satisfying to make history for Italian rugby,” Vecchini told us. “We knew that England are a very good team, but we were well beaten. We did our video analysis with the coaches, then after one or two days of that video analysis we began to focus on Ireland.

“After the yellow card, the first 20 minutes were pretty difficult. Ireland were really on the attack, and we were desperate to get out and score points. We stayed united and worked hard on our play and we were able to do that and relieve the pressure.

“It was a question of mentality. They were playing well but we stayed united and worked together. Above everything we made sure we didn’t give away any penalties because they were five metres out and there is always the risk of conceding a penalty.”


Since their win in Dublin Italy’s players have been given time off to go home and recover, but they have also received training programmes to follow as they build up to Round 3.

Italy head to the French capital, where they will take on the unbeaten Bleues at Stade Jean Bouin, the home of Stade Francais.

The Azzurre have won three times against France in the Championship, though all three came at home.

The most recent was in 2019 when a 31-12 victory in Padova secured a four-try bonus point that earned Italy second-place behind England, their best finish since they joined the Six Nations in 2007.

Vecchini knows she will be at the forefront of Italy’s efforts to upset France on home soil, with another rousing performance in the tight and loose needed if they want to quell France’s powerful pack.

“I can’t wait, especially because it is being played in France,” she said. “They have the ability to do it all and they won’t want to lose at home. That said I believe that if we play as well as we can, we can do it.

“Coming back together after a win you really feel strong and that helps you get on with your work. If you’ve lost, you come back a bit down and then you have to get your head down and work hard to reduce your errors.

“It is definitely a fierce challenge. They aren’t hugely bigger than us, but they have such good technique that you have to be ready from the start. Being front row of the scrum is part of the foundation of winning and I am hopeful that I can play my best to help my team.”


The 22-year-old Vecchini was able to share the celebrations at the RDS Arena in Dublin with Emma Stevanin, someone she has moved up through the playing system with.

The pair hail from near Rovigo in Italy’s north-east, a city an hour’s drive from Venice. They both began playing rugby with boys' teams before Vecchini’s hometown club Badia set up a girls’ team, which they joined at the same time.

After impressing there, they moved to Ferrara, a commuter town of Bologna 45 minutes to the south. Their latest stop is Valsugana Padova, who they have helped to two Italian titles.

Vecchini made her debut almost a year before Stevanin, against Scotland in 2021 in a Rugby World Cup qualifier, while Stevanin made her bow in a World Cup warm-up clash against France in 2022.

Both studied alongside playing. Vecchini is studying to be a veterinary assistant, while Stevanin completed her language studies shortly before WXV2 in the autumn of 2023.

“We have grown up together,” Vecchini said. “When I started at U12 with Badia rugby she played against me for C’e l’Este Rugby. When they then created a girls’ team at Badia she came to play with us, and we played together for them.

“We both ended coming to Valsugana Padova and progressed to the national team from there. We are good friends, and it is great to have been able to celebrate our win together.”

See the fixtures for Round 3 of the Guinness Women's Six Nations.