Stade Toulousain referred to as Toulouse, is a French rugby union club from Toulouse in Occitania. Toulouse is one of the most successful clubs in Europe, having won the Heineken Cup a joint record four times – in 1996, 2003, 2005 and 2010, they were runners-up in 2004 and 2008 against London Wasps and Munster, respectively. Stade Toulousain have won a record 19 French Championship titles, it is traditionally one of the main providers for the French national team. Their home ground is the Stade Ernest-Wallon. However, big Top 14 matches along with Heineken Cup games are played at the Stadium Municipal de Toulouse; the club colours are red and white. Before 1907 rugby in Toulouse was only played in universities. In 1893, students of secondary school "Lycée de Toulouse" got together in "les Sans Soucis". Once attending university the same students founded "l'Olympique Toulousain", which became "Stade Olympien des Etudiants de Toulouse" a few years in 1896. In the same period,'non-students' grouped in "le Sport Atléthique Toulousain" while students of the veterinary school created "l'Union Sportive de l'Ecole Vétérinaire".
Both entities merged in 1905 and called themselves "Véto-Sport". In 1907, Stade Toulousain was founded resulting from a union between the SOET and Véto-Sport. Stade Toulousain played its first final of the national title French Championship in 1909 and lost it to Stade Bordelais Université Club in Toulouse. In 1912 Stade Toulousain won its first national title, it had to wait until 1922. However the 1920s were a golden era for the club, their first final action in the 1920s was in 1921. Despite losing in 1921, the side went on to win the 1923, 1924, 1926 and 1927 championships; the following decades were quiet after such a dominant era during the 1920s. Stade Toulousain would not make it to any grand finals during the 1930s, it would not be until the late 1940s when they would return; however they did contest the Challenge Yves du Manoir with RC Toulon in 1934, though it ended in a nil-all tie and both teams were winners. The club made it to the final of the 1947 championship, claimed the premiership, beating SU Agen, 10 to 3.
However, no such championships followed, the club was again quiet on the championship. It was 22 years in the waiting. In 1971 Toulouse contested the Challenge Yves du Manoir against US Dax, losing 18 to 8. Eleven years after the CA Bègles defeat, the club was again disappointed in the final, being defeated by AS Béziers in the championship game of 1980; the latter end of the decade reminiscent of the 1920s sides. Toulouse were again contesting the Challenge Yves du Manoir for the 1984 season, though they lost to RC Narbonne 17 to 3, they did however claim their first championship since 1947. The following season saw them defend their championship, defeating SU Agen in the final. After a number of defeats in the Challenge Yves du Manoir finals, Toulouse defeated US Dax to win the 1988 competition. Both Toulon and Agen won the following premierships but Toulouse won another championship in 1989; the dominance continued in the 1990s, starting with a grand final loss in 1991, a Challenge Yves du Manoir championship in 1993, defeating Castres 13 to 8 in the final.
The mid-1990s saw Stade Toulousain become a major force yet again, as the club claimed four premierships in a row, winning the championship in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997, as well as the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1995. The club emmulated its success in the European Rugby Cup, becoming the first champions in the 1995–96 season; the late 1990s and the 2000s saw. The club won the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1998, defeating Stade Français Paris, the 1999 championship as well as the 2001 championship and were runners-up in the 2003 season, losing to Stade Français in the final; as the club had done in the mid-1990s, Stade Toulousain replicated this success in the European Rugby Cup, winning the 2002–03 championship and the 2004–05 championship. The club made it to the final of the 2005–06 Top 14, despite only trailing Biarritz 9–6 at half time, Toulouse could not prevent a second-half whitewash going down 40–13, they ended their seven-year title drought with a 26–20 win over ASM Clermont Auvergne on 28 June 2008.
In 2008 they narrowly lost a Heineken Cup Final to Munster by 3 points. In 2010 Toulouse defeated Leinster to reach the final where they faced Biarritz Olympique at Stade de France in Paris on Saturday 22 May 2010. Toulouse won the game by 21–19 to claim their fourth Heineken Cup title, making them the only club to win the title four times. Stade Toulousain is the only French club to have taken part in all the editions of Heineken Cup since its creation, they won the French championship in 2011 against 2012 against Toulon. Stade Toulousain reached the semi-finals of the French championship 20 consecutive years. Toulouse play their home games at the Stade Ernest-Wallon, built in the late 1980s and was renovated. Stade Toulousain is one of the three teams, it has a capacity of 19,500. The stadium however cannot always accommodate all the fans of the Toulouse club. For the larger fixtures, such as championship or Heineken Cup games or play-offs, the fixture may be moved to Stadium Municipal, which has double capacity, 38,000.
The stadium was used for numerous matches at the 2007
Leicester is a city and unitary authority area in the East Midlands of England, the county town of Leicestershire. The city close to the eastern end of the National Forest; the 2016 mid year estimate of the population of the City of Leicester unitary authority was 348,300, an increase of 18,500 from the 2011 census figure of 329,839, making it the most populous municipality in the East Midlands region. The associated urban area is the 11th most populous in England and the 13th most populous in the United Kingdom. Leicester is at the intersection of two major railway lines—the north/south Midland Main Line and the east/west Birmingham to London Stansted CrossCountry line. Leicester is the home to football club Leicester City and rugby club Leicester Tigers; the name of Leicester is recorded in the 9th-century History of the Britons as Cair Lerion, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Ligora-ceastre. In the Domesday Book of 1086, it is recorded as Ledecestre; the first element of the name, Ligora or Legora, is explained as a Brittonic river name, in a suggestion going back to William Somner an earlier name of the River Soar, cognate with the name of the Loire.
The second element of the name comes from the Latin castrum, reflected in both Welsh cair and Anglo-Saxon ceastre. Based on the Welsh name, Geoffrey of Monmouth proposes a king Leir of Britain as an eponymous founder in his Historia Regum Britanniae. Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back at least two millennia; the native Iron Age settlement encountered by the Romans at the site seems to have developed in the 2nd or 1st centuries BC. Little is known about this settlement or the condition of the River Soar at this time, although roundhouses from this era have been excavated and seem to have clustered along 8 hectares of the east bank of the Soar above its confluence with the Trent; this area of the Soar was split into two channels: a main stream to the east and a narrower channel on the west, with a marshy island between. The settlement seems to have controlled a ford across the larger channel; the Roman name was a latinate form of the Brittonic word for "ramparts", suggesting the site was an oppidum.
The plural form of the name suggests it was composed of several villages. The Celtic tribe holding the area was recorded as the "Coritanians" but an inscription recovered in 1983 showed this to have been a corruption of the original "Corieltauvians"; the Corieltauvians are believed to have ruled over the area of the East Midlands. It is believed that the Romans arrived in the Leicester area around AD 47, during their conquest of southern Britain; the Corieltauvian settlement lay near a bridge on the Fosse Way, a Roman road between the legionary camps at Isca and Lindum. It remains unclear whether the Romans fortified and garrisoned the location, but it developed from around the year 50 onwards as the tribal capital of the Corieltauvians under the name Ratae Corieltauvorum. In the 2nd century, it received a bathhouse. In 2013, the discovery of a Roman cemetery found just outside the old city walls and dating back to AD 300 was announced; the remains of the baths of Roman Leicester can be seen at the Jewry Wall.
Knowledge of the town following the Roman withdrawal from Britain is limited. There is some continuation of occupation of the town, though on a much reduced scale in the 5th and 6th centuries, its memory was preserved as the Cair Lerion of the History of the Britons. Following the Saxon invasion of Britain, Leicester was occupied by the Middle Angles and subsequently administered by the kingdom of Mercia, it was elevated to a bishopric in either 679 or 680. Their settlement became one of the Five Burghs of the Danelaw, although this position was short-lived; the Saxon bishop, fled to Dorchester-on-Thames and Leicester did not become a bishopric again until the Church of St Martin became Leicester Cathedral in 1927. The settlement was recorded under the name Ligeraceaster in the early 10th century. Following the Norman conquest, Leicester was recorded by William's Domesday Book as Ledecestre, it was noted as a city but lost this status in the 11th century owing to power struggles between the Church and the aristocracy and did not become a legal city again until 1919.
Geoffrey of Monmouth composed his History of the Kings of Britain around the year 1136, naming a King Leir as an eponymous founder figure. According to Geoffrey's narrative, Cordelia had buried her father beneath the river in a chamber dedicated to Janus and his feast day was an annual celebration; when Simon de Montfort became Lord of Leicester in 1231, he gave the city a grant to expel the Jewish population "in my time or in the time of any of my heirs to the end of the world". He justified his action as being "for the good of my soul, for the souls of my ancestors and successors". Leicester's Jews were allowed to move to the eastern suburbs, which were controlled by de Montfort's great-aunt and rival, Countess of Winchester, after she took advice from the scholar and cleric Robert Grosseteste. There is evidence that Jews remained there until 1253, enforcement of the banishment within the city was not rigorously enforced. De Montfort however issued a second edict for the expulsion of Leicester's Jews in 1253, after Grosseteste's death.
De Montfort's m
Matthew James Sutherland Dawson, MBE is an English retired rugby union player who played scrum half for Northampton Saints and London Wasps. During his international career he toured with the British and Irish Lions three times and was part of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup winning side, he won 77 caps for his country in total, including nine as captain and was England's most capped scrum half until passed by Danny Care. Dawson was best known for his trademark'sniping runs' and played the whistle well scoring tries from'tap and go' penalties; when called upon, he could demonstrate his versatility by kicking goals. Since retiring, Dawson has become a team captain on A Question of Sport besides appearing on various reality shows and is a commentator and presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live's rugby programme. Dawson works as a health ambassador for Sodexo, a global food and facilities provider. In early 2014, he was appointed as director for business development at the flexible workplace company, Instant.
Dawson joined Northampton in 1991 after leaving school and was among the last generation of players to have started their careers during the amateur era. Before rugby turned professional in 1995 he worked as a security guard and coached at Spratton Hall School, he formed a successful half-back partnership with Paul Grayson, winning the 2000 Heineken Cup and finishing runner-up in the Anglo-Welsh Cup three times. In the club's 130th anniversary poll he and Grayson were voted by fans into the all-time dream XV. In 2004, Dawson moved from Northampton to London Wasps after his contract was not renewed and won the Premiership title in his first season. On 7 April 2006, Dawson announced that he would be retiring from rugby at the end of the season and on 14 May 2006, he played his last game of premiership rugby, when Sale denied Wasps their chance of winning the Premiership title four years in a row and so equalling Leicester's record. In 1993, Dawson was a member of the England Sevens team which won the inaugural Sevens World Cup in Scotland.
Dawson and competition teammate Lawrence Dallaglio are therefore the only players to have won the World Cup at both the 15- and 7-a-side games. Dawson made his international debut for England in December 1995, against Western Samoa, but would have to fight with Andy Gomarsall, Austin Healey but Kyran Bracken for the England number 9 shirt. Dawson went on the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa as third-choice scrum half behind Rob Howley and Austin Healey but injury to Howley and some good performances saw him make the starting line-up. In the first test with ten minutes to go, Dawson broke from the base of a scrum and threw an overhead dummy that checked the four Springboks allowing him to scamper in for the winning try; that victory was the start of a 2–1 series win, clinched when he fed Jeremy Guscott for the series-winning drop goal. Dawson captained England for the first time when he was chosen as captain for the infamous 1998 "tour from hell" in the absence of more experienced internationals.
Despite the disastrous results he would go on to establish himself in the starting XV. He became first-choice scrum half at the 1999 Rugby World Cup after Bracken's withdrawal due to injury and scored England's first try of the competition just eight minutes into the opening match, a 67–7 win, against Italy, he was captain in the 2000 Six Nations and in the absence of Martin Johnson. In the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, Dawson went as second-choice scrum half behind Howley. Howley was injured for the third, where Dawson played. Controversially however, Dawson was one of the mid-week side opposed to the training regime of coach Graham Henry and publicly criticised him, although this did not cause as much stir as Healey's similar comments, he and Healey were fined by the disciplinary committee. In the week he redeemed himself by converting Healey's try during extra time to win a tied match against the Brumbies. Dawson's career nearly ended after sustaining a neck injury during the record 53–3 win against South Africa in November 2002, when he was headbutted by Springbok skipper Corné Krige.
He became an integral part of the England side, winning his 50th cap against Ireland on the same day England won the 2003 Six Nations Grand Slam. That same year he was a crucial part of the team, he played a vital role in winning the final tie against Australia in Sydney on 22 November 2003. With less than a minute remaining in extra time he made a unexpected break gaining a vital 20 metres upfield. From the subsequent ruck he fed the ball to Jonny Wilkinson for the winning drop goal. In the autumn of 2004, he failed to turn up to an England training camp due to a arranged commitment to appear on A Question of Sport, resulting in him being dropped from the England squad for the 2004 Autumn internationals. A return to the 2005 Six Nations was expected and Dawson rejoined the Elite Player Squad for the tournament, playing well enough to earn a place on the 2005 British Lions tour to New Zealand, managed by Sir Clive Woodward. Dawson returned to the England fold in 2005 but had limited opportunities in a disappointing Six Nations campaign as Harry Ellis started at number nine for four of the five matches.
In 2004, Dawson joined the long-running BBC TV quiz show A Question of Sport, featuring as a regular team captain opposite Ally McCoist and subsequently, Phil Tufnell. In September 2006, he appeared in BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef programme, beating Roger Black and Hardeep Singh Kohli, to win the final, he took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2006, partnered by Lilia Kopylova. Although appearing to be an unlikely contende
Six Nations Championship
The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition between the teams of England, Ireland, Italy and Wales. The current champions are Wales; the Six Nations is the successor to the Home Nations Championship, played between teams from England, Ireland and Wales, the first international rugby union tournament. With the addition of France, this became the Five Nations Championship, which in turn became the Six Nations Championship with the addition of Italy. Wales hold the overall record, with 39 victories to England's 38, while England hold the record for outright wins with 28. Since the Six Nations era started in 2000, only Italy and Scotland have failed to win the Six Nations title, although Scotland were the last winners of the Five Nations; the tournament was first played in 1883 as the Home Nations Championship among the four Home Nations — England, Ireland and Wales. However England was excluded from the 1888 and 1889 tournaments due to their refusal to join the International Rugby Football Board.
The tournament became the Five Nations Championship in 1910 with the addition of France. The tournament was expanded in 2000 to become the Six Nations Championship with the addition of Italy. Following the relative success of the Tier 2 nations in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, there were calls by Octavian Morariu, the president of Rugby Europe, to let Georgia and Romania join the Six Nations due to their consistent success in the European Nations Cup and ability to compete in the Rugby World Cup. Played annually, the format of the Championship is simple: each team plays every other team once, with home ground advantage alternating from one year to the next. Prior to the 2017 tournament, two points were awarded for one for a draw and none for a loss. Unlike many other rugby union competitions the bonus point system had not been used. On 30 November 2016, the Six Nations Committee announced that a bonus point system would be trialled in the 2017 Championship; the system is similar to the one used in most rugby championships, with the only difference being that a Grand Slam winner will be given 3 extra points to ensure they finish top of the table.
Prior to 1994, teams equal on match points shared the championship. Since ties have been broken by considering the points difference of the teams; the rules of the championship further provide that if teams tie on both match points and points difference, the team that scored the most tries wins the championship. Were this decider to be a tie, the tying teams would share the championship. To date, match points and points difference have been sufficient to decide the championship; the team that finishes at the bottom of the league table is said to have "won" the Wooden Spoon, although no actual trophy is given to the team. A team that has lost all five matches is said to have been whitewashed. Since the inaugural Six Nations tournament in 2000, only England and Ireland have avoided the Wooden Spoon award. Italy are the holders of the most Wooden Spoon awards in the Six Nations era with 13, have been whitewashed eight times. However, each of the other five nations has accumulated more than that through competing in previous eras.
The winners of the Six Nations are presented with the Championship Trophy. This was conceived by the Earl of Westmorland, was first presented to the winners of the 1993 championship, France, it is a sterling silver trophy, designed by James Brent-Ward and made by a team of eight silversmiths from the London firm William Comyns. It has 15 side panels representing the 15 members of the team and with three handles to represent the three officials; the cup has a capacity of 3.75 litres – sufficient for five bottles of champagne. Within the mahogany base is a concealed drawer which contains six alternative finials, each a silver replica of one of the team emblems, which can be screwed on the detachable lid. A new trophy was introduced for the 2015 Championship; the new trophy was designed and crafted by Thomas Lyte silversmiths and replaces the 1993 edition, being retired as it represented the nations that took part in the Five Nations Championship. Ireland were the last team to win the old trophy, coincidentally, the first team to win the new one.
A team that wins all its games wins the'Grand Slam'. The Triple Crown may only be won by one of the Home Nations of England, Scotland or Wales, when one nation wins all three of their matches against the others; the Triple Crown dates back to the original Home Nations Championship, but the physical Triple Crown Trophy has been awarded only since 2006, when the Royal Bank of Scotland commissioned Hamilton & Inches to design and create a dedicated Triple Crown Trophy. It has since been won three times by Wales and twice by England. Several individual competitions take place under the umbrella of the tournament; the oldest such regular competition is for the Calcutta Cup, contested annually between England and Scotland since 1879. It is named the Calcutta Cup as it is made from melted-down Indian Rupees donated by the Calcutta Club. Since 1988, the Millennium Trophy has been awarded to the winner of the game between England and Ireland, since 1989 the Centenary Quaich has been awarded to the winner of the game between Ireland and Scotland.
Ireland national rugby union team
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. They are ranked third in the world by World Rugby as of 18 March 2019; the team competes annually in the current Six Nations Championship, which they have won fourteen times outright and shared nine times in its various formats. The team competes every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions. Ireland is one of the four unions that make up the British and Irish Lions – players eligible to play for Ireland are eligible for the Lions; the Ireland national team dates to 1875, when it played its first international match against England. Ireland's highest position in the World Rugby Rankings is second, which they reached for the first time in 2015. Eleven former Ireland players have earned induction into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Dublin University was the first organised rugby football club in Ireland, having been founded in 1854; the club was organised by students.
During the third quarter of the nineteenth century, following the adoption of a set of official rules in 1868, rugby football began to spread throughout Ireland, resulting in the formation of several other clubs which are still in existence, including NIFC. Carlow. In 1874, the Irish Football Union was formed. Ireland lost their first test match against England 7–0 at the Oval on 15 February 1875. Both teams fielded 20 players in this match. Ireland's first home game was against England in the same year held at Leinster Cricket Club's Observatory Lane ground in Rathmines as Lansdowne Road was deemed unsuitable; the first match at Lansdowne Road was held on 11 March 1878, with England beating Ireland by 2 goals and 1 try to nil. It was not until 1881. Ireland turned up two men short for their game in Cardiff in 1884 and had to borrow two Welsh players; the first victory Ireland had at Lansdowne Road took place on 5 February 1887. It was their first win over England, by two goals to nil. On the third of March 1888, Ireland recorded their first win over Wales with a goal, a try and a drop goal to nil.
In 1894, Ireland followed the Welsh model of using seven backs instead of six for the first time. After victory over England at Blackheath, Ireland won back-to-back matches for the first time when recording their first win over Scotland on 24 February 1894. Ireland went on to win the Triple Crown for the first time. In the 1890s, Rugby was a game for the Protestant middle class, the only Catholic in Edmund Forrest's 1894 team was Tom Crean. Of the eighteen players used in the three games, thirteen were from three Dublin clubs – Wanderers, Dublin University and Bective Rangers – and the remaining five were from Ulster, they went on to win the Home international championship twice more before the old century was out, so that by 1901 all four of the Home Unions had tasted success at a game, growing in popularity with players and spectators. Such was the level of interest in the visit of the first All Blacks team to Dublin in November 1905 that the IRFU made the match the first all-ticket rugby international in history.
Ireland played only seven forwards, copying the New Zealand method of playing a "rover". The game ended New Zealand 15 Ireland 0. On 20 March 1909, Ireland played France for the first time, beating them 19–8; this was Ireland's biggest victory in international rugby at that time, their highest points tally and a record five tries. 30 November 1912 was the first time the Springboks met Ireland at Lansdowne Road, the 1906 tour game having been played at Ravenhill. Ireland with seven new caps were overwhelmed by a record margin of 38–0, still a record loss to South Africa who scored 10 tries. In 1926, Ireland went into their final Five Nations match unbeaten and with the Grand Slam at stake lost to Wales in Swansea. Ireland again came close to a grand slam in 1927. In 1948, Ireland clinched their first Grand Slam in the Five Nations. Ireland were champions and Triple Crown winners again in 1949. In 1951, Ireland were once more crowned Five Nations champions. 1952 saw only Ireland's second overseas tour, the first for over half a century – as they headed to Argentina for a nine-match trip which included two test matches, their Test record being won one, drawn one.
On 27 February 1954, Ireland played Scotland at Ravenhill in Belfast. The 11 Republic-based players protested "God Save the Queen", an abbreviated anthem known as "the Salute" was instead played. Ireland beat Scotland 6–0, did not play in Northern Ireland again until 2007. In 1958, Ireland beat Australia 9–6 in Dublin, the first time a major touring team had been defeated. Ireland managed just three victories in the Five Nations Championship during the early 1960s: against England in 1961, Wales in 1963 and England again in 1964. 1965 saw an improvement as Ireland beat Scotland. On 10 April 1965 at Lansdowne Road Ireland recorded their first win over South Africa. Ireland beat Australia again in Dublin in 1967. Ireland became the first of the home nations to win in the Southern Hemisphere when they beat Australia in Sydney in
Samoa national rugby union team
The Samoa national rugby union team is governed by the Samoa Rugby Union. The name Manu Samoa is in honour of a famous Samoan warrior, they perform. Samoa Rugby Union were members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance along with Fiji and Tonga, they are ranked 16th in the world. Rugby was introduced to Samoa in the early 1920s and a governing body was soon formed; the first international was played as Western Samoa against Fiji in August 1924. Along with Tonga, these nations would meet and contest competitions such as the Pacific Tri-Nations – with Western Samoa winning the first of these. From 1924 to 1997 Samoa was known as Western Samoa. Samoa have been to every Rugby World Cup since the 1991 tournament; that tournament, along with the 1995 competition, saw. Under their new coach, former New Zealand and Samoan international player Michael Jones, Samoa competed in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. However, Samoa had a dismal World Cup campaign, winning only one match and finishing fourth in their group.
Samoa showed an improved performance at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, winning two matches by comfortable margins, losing close matches to South Africa and Wales. The Marist Brothers brought the game of rugby to Western Samoa in 1924 and The Western Samoa Rugby Football Union was formed in 1924. On 18 August 1924, Western Samoa played its first international against Fiji in the capital Apia, the visitors winning 6–0; the match was played at 7 am to allow the Samoans time to get to work afterwards and was played on a pitch with a large tree on the halfway line. The return match was won 9–3 by Samoa to draw the series. In 1954 Western Samoan visited both Pacific Island neighbors Fiji and Tonga but had to wait a further 20 years before a tour of New Zealand took place; the Samoans won. The traditional tri-series between Tonga and Western Samoa was established in 1982 with Western Samoa winning the first tournament. Wales won the test 32 -- 16 at Apia; the tour led to a return visit to Wales which brought Western Samoa out of International limbo, although Western Samoa were not invited to the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.
The following year a 14-match tour of Europe took place before a World Cup elimination series in Tokyo, which gave Western Samoa a place in the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Britain. They made a huge impact. After sweeping aside Wales 16–13 in Cardiff and defeating Argentina 35–12, narrowly losing 3–9 to eventual champions Australia in their pool match, Western Samoa, a country with a population of 160,000, found itself in the quarterfinals against Scotland at Murrayfield; the Scots won comfortably 28–6, but the Samoans were the personality team of the tournament. Over the next two years the side had a number of notable wins; the most outstanding achievement were in Sevens where it won the 1993 Hong Kong and 1992 Middlesex Sevens. The 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa proved, they again reached the quarterfinals after wins over Argentina and Italy, but were beaten 42–14 by the eventual winners South Africa. After the Cup, Manu Samoa made a 13-match tour of England and Scotland, drawing 15–15 with the Scots and going down 27–9 to England.
With the advent of professional rugby in 1995 it was vital for Manu Samoa to develop a new administrative structure. This was made possible with Fay Richwhite and the Western Samoan Rugby Union joining forces to form Manu Samoa Rugby Limited. Fay Richwhite invested $5 million from 1995 to 2004 into Samoan rugby. Samoa emerged from the 1999 World Cup with its honor intact after another shock 38–31 victory over host nation Wales in the pool stages, they again lost out to Scotland in the quarter final play-off. Manu Samoa qualified for the 2003 World Cup with a 17–16 loss against Fiji, Earl Va'a missing an injury-time penalty, they recovered to beat Tonga both home and away and avenged that Fijian defeat with a 22–12 win in Nadi. They had to settle for second place in the round robin, behind Fiji on points difference, a place in the tougher of the two Rugby World Cup 2003 pools alongside automatic qualifiers England and South Africa. In one of the games of the tournament, they led eventual champions England for most of the game before losing 35–22.
Samoa qualified for the 2011 World Cup after beating Papua New Guinea 73–12 in Port Moresby on 18 July 2009. They won 188–19 on aggregate over two matches against Papua New Guinea, having won 115–7 at Apia Park the previous week. Samoa began their 2011 World Cup campaign preparation with a flying start, after registering an upset against No.2 ranked Australia with a four-try-to-two win of 32–23. In November 2017, Samoa's prime minister and SRU chairman Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi announced that the organisation was bankrupt, although those claims were denied by world governing body World Rugby. In one of the scenes of the feature film, Western Samoa can be seen playing South Africa in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Samoa national XV at test level up until 14 July 2018. On 7 October, Steve Jackson named a 31-man squad for their 2018 Northern Hemisphere Tour where they will meet USA, Georgia and Spain Head Coach: Steve Jackson * Caps Updated: 16 November 2018Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.
Last updated: Spain vs Samoa, 24 November 2018. Statistics include capped matches only. Last updated: Spain vs Samoa, 24 November 2018. Statistics include capped matches only. Last updated: Spain vs Samoa, 24 November 2018. Statistics include capped matches only. Last updated: Spa
Italy national rugby union team
The Italy national rugby union team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship against the other top rugby teams in Europe. The team is known as the Azzurri. Italy has been playing international rugby since 1929, for decades were considered one of the best European teams outside the Five Nations Championship. Since 2000, Italy competes annually in the Six Nations Championship with England, Ireland and Wales, they were the holders of the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy for 2013, played annually against France. Italy is ranked 15th in the world by the IRB as of 22 April 2016. Italian rugby came to prominence in 2000 when it was added to the Five Nations, creating the Six Nations. On the end of some heavy defeats, the side has grown in competitiveness, recording a fourth-place finish in 2007 and 2013, in defeat, lop-sided losses are less frequent; the Azzurri have shown respectable results when playing at home in recent years: during the 2011 Six Nations, the side defeated France 22–21, in the 2013 Six Nations, Italy won again at home against France, defeated Ireland 22–15.
Italy have competed at every Rugby World Cup since the first tournament in 1987, where it played the inaugural game against New Zealand, but have yet to progress beyond the first round. The team has developed a reputation for being a consistent middle player at the tournament. Italy's showings since the inception of a new group stage formula in 2003 have followed a pattern where they managed two wins and two losses; the current head coach is Conor O'Shea. Number eight Sergio Parisse is their current captain; the first match played by an Italian XV was in 1911 between US Voiron of France. On 25 July of the same year the "Propaganda Committee" was formed which in 1928 became the Federazione Italiana Rugby. In May 1929, Italy played their first international losing 9–0 against Spain in Barcelona. In 1934, Italy was one of the founder members of today's Rugby Europe. World War II meant an hiatus for Italian rugby union. Post-war, there was a desire to return to normal and Italian rugby union entered a new dimension thanks to the help of Allied troops in Italy.
In the 1970s and 1980s rugby union made enormous progress thanks to great foreign players and coaches in the Italian championship. Foreign coaches were and continue to be chosen for the national team, like Bertrande Fourcade and Georges Coste. In 1973, the national team went on a tour of South Africa, coached by ex-Springbok prop Amos Du Plooey. Tours of England and Scotland followed, as well as games against Australia and New Zealand, the masters of their day. In 1978, Italy first played Argentina at Rovigo, winning 19–6. Since the mid 1980s, the Italian national side had been pursuing the ambition of playing in an expanded Five Nations Championship. Winning against nations that now play in the European Nations Cup, good results against the major nations such as France, Scotland and Ireland meant that they were talked as strong candidates. In 1986, Italy hosted an England XV squad in Rome, drawing 15–15; the Azzurri took part in the first-ever Rugby World Cup match against New Zealand on 22 May 1987.
The match proved a one-sided affair with New Zealand convincing 70–6 winners against a young Italian side. John Kirwan to become the Italian national coach, scored one of the tournament's greatest-ever tries for the All Blacks. Italy beat Fiji but finished third in their pool, failing to make the finals. In 1988, they played Ireland for the first time. At the 1991 World Cup, Italy were grouped in a tough pool with the likes of England and the All Blacks, they lost both of these games but beat the USA. Italy first played Wales in 1994. At the 1995 World Cup in South Africa, Italy came close to beating England, they finished third in their pool again above the Argentines. The late 1990s saw the Italians build a formidable side and record Test victories over Five Nations opposition. In 1996, a deal between British Sky Broadcasting and the Rugby Football Union meant that England home games were shown on Sky. England were threatened with being expelled from the Five Nations to be replaced by Italy; this threat was never carried out.
In 1996, Italy toured England and for the first time Scotland, losing all matches. The team recorded two consecutive victories over Ireland in 1997. On 22 March 1997 they recorded their first win over France, 40–32. In January 1998, Scotland were the victims with Italy winning 25–21. At the 1999 World Cup, Italy were lost again, they went home before the knock-out stage. Italy joined the Six Nations Championship in 2000 but their admission coincided with the departure of some of their best players, they won their opening game against the reigning champions Scotland 34–20. Thereafter they struggled to compete against the other nations and their participation was called into question; the 2001 and 2002 tournaments were disappointing as they did not win a