|Date of birth
|12 October 1955
|Place of birth
|Johannesburg, South Africa
|Date of death
|23 July 2021 65)(aged
|Place of death
|Johannesburg, South Africa
|Rugby union career
Tito Lupini (12 November 1955 – 23 July 2021) was a South African-born Italian rugby union player who played as a prop.
Born and raised in South Africa by Italian parents, Lupini as a player represented the provincial team of Transvaal. After the appointment of former Springboks coach Nelie Smith for Rugby Rovigo, he moved to Italy in 1985 and played for Rovigo, in whose first row constituted a key element (also being Captain of the team) for the achievement of two national titles (1988 and 1990), alongside fellow south africans Naas Botha and Gert Smal. In the 1989–90 season, won by Rovigo, Lupini had the double role of player and coach. During his time in Italy, he helped Rovigo reaching the final twice (1989 and 1992), the semifinal (1991) and a quarter final (1993). The Smith-Lupini-Botha-Smal era is still fondly remembered in Rovigo, the most rugby addicted city in Italy, for the impact it had in ending a 9 years winning drought for the team.
Lupini died from COVID-19-related complications on 23 July 2021. His mother died within 24 hours of him, also of the virus.
Debuting for the Italian national team in the 1985-87 FIRA Trophy against Romania at Constanţa, Socialist Republic of Romania, Lupini was called up by the then-coach Marco Bollesan in the roster which took part in the first edition of the Rugby World Cup, playing all the three matches where Italy played.
After his retirement from the playing career in 1992,Lupini started his coaching career, coaching Rovigo, leading the team to the final for the national championship (then lost) against Benetton Treviso in 1992. He also coached the forwards for the Namibia national team and the same role for Rovigo.
Hendrik Egnatius 'Naas' Botha is a South African former rugby union player, who played for Northern Transvaal and South Africa.
Nicholas Vivian Haward Mallett is a former South African rugby union player who played for the Springboks, South Africa's national rugby union team, in 1984. He also coached the Springboks between 1997 and 2000 and was the head coach of Italy's rugby union team between 2007 and 2011.
Michael John Catt OBE is a South African-born former rugby union player who played for the England national rugby union team. He played professionally for the clubs London Irish and Bath. He earned 75 international caps for England and played in two World Cup Finals, in 2003 and 2007. With his appearance in the October 2007 final, at age 36 years 1 month, he became the oldest ever player to play in a Rugby World Cup final. Since 2008, Catt has coached various rugby teams, and has since 2019 been an assistant coach for the Ireland national rugby team.
The Italy national rugby union team represents Italy in men's international rugby union. The team is known as gli Azzurri. Savoy blue is the common colour of the national teams representing Italy, as it is the traditional colour of the royal House of Savoy which reigned over the Kingdom of Italy from 1860 to 1946.
Edward Jones is an Australian rugby union coach and former player, who is currently head coach of the England national team. He previously coached Australia between 2001 and 2005, taking the team to the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. He was an assistant coach for South Africa when the Springboks won the 2007 Rugby World Cup and from 2012 to 2015 he coached Japan, leading them in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and their upset win over South Africa. In November 2015, Jones was appointed as head coach for England and led them to win the 2016 and 2017 Six Nations Championships, becoming only the second international rugby team to go the entire calendar year unbeaten. He led England to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final where they were beaten by South Africa.
Rugby Rovigo Delta, formerly known until 2010 as Rugby Rovigo, is an Italian rugby union club currently competing in the Top10. They are based in Rovigo, in Veneto. The club was founded in 1935 by medical student Dino Lanzoni, who discovered rugby at university. They quickly became one of the strongest Italian sides and won 13 titles between 1951 and 2021. They have never been relegated from the top flight of Italian rugby union. They are the current Italian champion.
The Blue Bulls is a South African rugby union team that participates in the annual Currie Cup tournament. They are governed by the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and are based at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Gauteng province.
John Philip "Bakkies" Botha, is a South African former professional rugby union player who played as a lock for the Springboks until 2014. He was a member of the national team that won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France in addition to winning two Tri Nations titles in the 2004 Tri Nations Series and the 2009 Tri Nations Series. Botha plays for RC Toulonnais in the Top 14 after signing from Blue Bulls provincial team in the Currie Cup competition and the Bulls Super Rugby team. Botha was also a member of the Toulon squad which won the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Heineken Cup/European Rugby Champions Cup Finals.
Anthony Gerard Foley was an Irish rugby union player and head coach of Munster. He was attached to the same squad during his professional playing career. He was a member of the Munster team that won the 2002–03 Celtic League and was the winning captain during their 2005–06 Heineken Cup success. Foley played for Ireland from 1995 until 2005 and captained the squad on three occasions.
Mark Garry 'Hammer' Hammett is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player. Having represented Canterbury provincially 76 times, and the Crusaders 81 times and the All Blacks 30 times – including 29 Test matches, Hammett later went on to coach both Canterbury and Crusaders as a forwards/assistant coach. He is currently on the assistant coach of the Highlanders in Super Rugby and the Tasman Makos in the Mitre 10 Cup.
Gert Petrus Smal is a former South African rugby union player and assistant coach of the South African and Irish national rugby union teams. He is currently the forwards coach at Japanese Top League team Toyota Verblitz.
Glen Joseph Ella is a former Australian rugby union player and coach. Ella played as a Fullback for Randwick, Manly and New South Wales. Ella also represented Australia in the 1980s, however, did not play at the first Rugby World Cup in the 1987 Rugby World Cup.
Stefano Bordon is a former Italian rugby union player and a current coach. He played as a centre.
Julian Michael Gardner is an Australian-Italian former international rugby union player and a current coach. He played as a flanker.
Cristian Daniel Săuan is a former Romanian rugby union player. He played as a wing.
Raffaele Dolfato was an Italian rugby union player who played as flanker.
Rugby San Donà is an Italian rugby union club based in San Donà di Piave, in the Metropolitan City of Venice.
Frederick Christiaan 'FC' Smit is a former South African rugby union player.
Cornelius Michael 'Nelie' Smith was a South African rugby union player and coach.