Italy was asked to join the Six Nations in 2000 and in each of the first three years went home with the Wooden Spoon as the tournaments last place finisher but on this day in rugby history in 2003 the Azzurri defeated Wales for their lone win but on the way to a 5th place finisher sticking the Wooden Spoon to Wales.
The home side won the match 30-22 at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome and it came against a Wales side that at best was struggling.
Diego Dominguez led the way for the home side with 15 points and appreciated the importance of the win.
"This means a lot for Italian rugby and I think we deserved it," said Dominguez. "We have been looking for this victory for two years. To get a win you need to show a lot of courage. We deserved this victory and we believed we could win before the match."
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Italy’s New Zealand-born number eight Matthew Phillips also knew the importance of the game, the first of the tournament against a weak side saying:
"To get a win you need to show a lot of courage. We deserved this victory and we believed we could win before the match. We needed this victory - it was vital for Italian rugby. If we were going to win a game this season we had to win this one.”
The game was only Italy’s second win ever in the Six Nations with their first coming back in 2000.
Italy: P Vaccari (Calvisano); Mauro Bergamasco (Treviso), C Stoica (Castres/Fra), G Ranieri (Calvisano), D Dallan (Treviso); D Dominguez (Stade Francais/Fra), A Troncon (Treviso, capt); G De Carli (Calvisano), C Festuccia (Gran Parma), R Martinez (Treviso), C Bezzi (Viadana), M Bortolami (Padova), A De Rossi (Calvisano), A Persico (Viadana), M Phillips (Viadana).
Reps: A Moretti (Calvisano), S Perugini (Calvisano), M Giacheri (Rotherham/Eng), S Palmer (Treviso), J Manuel Queirolo (Dax/Fra), R Pez (Rotherham/Eng), Mirco Bergamasco (Padova).
Wales: R Williams (Cardiff); M Jones (Llanelli), T Shanklin (Saracens), L Davies (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bridgend); I Harris (Cardiff), D Peel (Llanelli); I Thomas (Llanelli), M Davies (Pontypridd), B Evans (Swansea), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), S Williams (Northampton), M Owen (Pontypridd), M Williams (Cardiff), C Charvis (Swansea, capt).
Reps: G Williams (Bridgend), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), D Jones (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bath), G Cooper (Bath), C Sweeney (Pontypridd), M Watkins (Llanelli).
Ref: Joel Jutge (France)
1987 - Jarrod Sammut, Australian-Maltese rugby league player, Penrith Panthers.