What a way to open for business in Sydney!


Sydney, Australia, June 15, 2016 - What a way to open for business in Sydney! Two European standouts, France and Italy, both preparing for the Rio Olympics as well, will clash in the first match of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2016 Group 1 tournament in Australia.

• France and Italy have played 38 World League matches against each other, with Italy winning 24 times and France 14. 
• Their most recent encounters in the competition came in 2012. Italy won the first match (3-1), but France defeated the Italians in their last three meetings (3-1, 3-0, 3-2). 
• It is already France's longest winning streak against Italy in the World League. 
• Their most recent meeting came at the 2015 European Championships, with France winning 3-2. France went on to become European champions. 

• France will participate at the World League for the 21st time. 
• They will defend their title, as they won the World League tournament for the first time last year. 
• The last team to defend their World League title successfully were Brazil in 2010 after winning in 2009.
• France started the tournament in 2015 in group 2, in which they won all 14 matches including the final against Bulgaria (3-0). They progressed to the final round of group 1, reached the Final Four and won the final against Serbia in straight sets.
• They have lost only one of their last 18 World League matches, against United States in the group 1 final round of 2015 (3-1).
• France booked 11 of their 17 victories last year in straight sets. 

• This will be Italy's 27th World League participation, as they have participated in all previous 26 tournaments. Brazil is the only other ever-present.
• Italy won eight of the first 11 World League editions, but have failed to win the tournament since 2000. 
• Last year they finished joint fifth after they finished third in their group 1 final round pool after Poland and Serbia. 
• Italy have lost at least two sets in each of their last eight World League matches, losing five matches and winning three times by 3-2.


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