1973 Italy rugby union tour of Rhodesia and South Africa
ManagerAmos Du Plooy
Tour captain(s)Mauro Bollesan
9[1] 01 00 06
Test match
01 00 00 01
1 0 0 1

The 1973 Italy rugby union tour of South Africa and Rhodesia was a series of matches played between June and July 1973 in South Africa and Rhodesia by Italy national rugby union team.

It was the second time that the "Azzurri" toured outside Europe, after a short tour in Madagascar in 1970.

The experience signed a turn in the story of Italian rugby: before of that, contact with the bigger union members was almost non-existent, and limited only to confrontations with France (between 1952 and 1967).

The tour was arranged by Italian federation and SARB, that sent coach Amos du Plooy to Italy to prepare the team. It was an historical tour, but the results were very poor: only a victory against the SARF Leopard selection.

The most important player of the last match, against Transvaal XV, was Rocco Caligiuri: the fly-half (but normally play ad full-back) scored three drops. It was the first time that a player scored three drops in an international match in South Africa. A plate was then put on the wall of Ellis Park Stadium.


Scores and results list Italy's points tally first.

Opposing Team For Against Date Venue
Rhodesia 4 42 16 June 1973 Salisbury
Western Transvaal 6 32 20 June 1973 Potchefstroom
Border 12 25 23 June 1973 East London
North East Cape 12 31 27 June 1973 Cradock
Natal 3 23 30 June 1973 Kings Park, Durban
Eastern Transvaal 12 39 4 July 1973 Witbank
Leopards 24 4 7 July 1973 Port Elizabeth
Northern Free State 11 12 9 July 1973 Welkom
Transvaal XV 24 28 11 July 1973 Ellis Park, Johannesburg



  1. ^ The Italian Rugby Union assigned a cap for every match, despite the fact that no national team plays against the Italian team.