Azzurri hoping to break duck against Wallabies
November 6, 2008
Will the Wallabies' Stirling Mortlock once again prove the key for the tourists? © Getty Images
Italy and Australia will meet for the 10th time this weekend with the Wallabies favourites to extend their winning record.
Australia have won all their previous meetings spanning the nine contests between the 29-7 victory in Rovigo in 1983 to their 25-18 success in Rome two years ago.
In their last meeting in Rome, Stirling Mortlock proved the key with 12 points courtesy of a try, two conversions and a penalty. Mat Rogers and Guy Shepherdson also dotted down while Ramiro Pez kicked all of Italy's points.
Just three members of the Australian starting XV - skipper Stirling Mortlock, lock Mark Chisholm and hooker Stephen Moore (who appeared as a replacement) - remain from the side that won in Rome in 2006. Run on reserves Matt Giteau (halfback) and Wycliff Palu (No 8) also featured in the starting XV on that occasion.
This is the second Test between Australia and Italy at Padova, although the previous contest, 12 years ago, was played at the Stadio Del Plebiscito, where the Qantas Wallabies have trained this week. The Test in 1996 holds a special place in Australian Test history as the 100th international played by David Campese.
Italy's highest score against Australia in a Test match on home soil is 18, which it has achieved twice. No Italian player has scored more than one Test try against Australia.
Italy are also scheduled to tour Australia in the summer of 2009.
Italy v Australia - Match Facts:
Played: 9; Australia won 9 ; Italy won 0
First Test: Italy 7-29 Australia at Mario Battaglini, Oct 22, 1983
Latest Test: Italy 18-25 Australia at Stadio Flaminio, Nov 11, 2006
Australia's biggest winning margin: 48 points - Australia 69-21 Italy at Telstra Dome, Jun 25, 2005
Australia's winning sequence: 9 tests - Oct 22, 1983 to present day.
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