Six Nations
Six Nations preview: Italy v Wales
Alex Perry
March 20, 2015
Three In, Three Out: Fantasy Six Nations Week 5

Wales need a sizeable victory to stand any chance of snatching the Six Nations title from under the noses of England and Ireland - and who better for Warren Gatland's men to play on the final day of the campaign than Italy? The Azzurri have conceded a whopping 121 points so far, but the Stadio Olimpico is not always an easy place to go…

Team news

Gatland has been has forced to make two changes due to injury. Props Gethin Jenkins (hamstring) and Samson Lee (Achilles) both miss out due to the injuries they suffered during the 23-16 victory over Ireland, and are replaced by Rob Evans and Aaron Jarvis.

There are also call-ups on the bench for hooker Ken Owens, props Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews and scrum-half Gareth Davies, with Mike Phillips missing out.

Italy, meanwhile, have been dealt a huge blow with skipper Sergio Parisse failing to recover from a foot injury picked up in last weekend's 29-0 drubbing by France. Parisse will be replaced at No.8 by Samuela Vunisa, while Leicester hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini takes the armband.

Head coach Jacques Brunel has also brought back Kelly Haimona and Martin Castrogiovanni and handed a chance in the front row for Ghiraldini's Tigers colleague Michele Rizzo, who replaces the injured Matias Aguero.

Key head-to-head

If Wales are to get the big win they need, a lot will rely on their two inexperienced international props in Evans and Jarvis against some proper Italian grunt. It's a big test for the pair against an experienced Italy front row that includes the returning Castrogiovanni.

Key stats

* Wales have won their seven previous Six Nations meetings with Italy.

* In fact, Italy have only ever beaten Wales twice in 22 attempts - 30-22 in 2003 and 23-20 in 2007, while the 2006 meeting ended in an 18-all draw.

* Wales have never failed to score a try in any test against Italy.


Little surprise that Wales are huge favourites at 1/25 with Unibet, while Italy are priced at 23/2 to cause an upset.


A dry but cloudy day expected in Rome on Saturday, with temperatures around 15-degrees at kick-off.


Wales to win comfortably and then sit and wait to see if Scotland and France will do them any favours.

Samson Lee misses the trip to Rome after rupturing an Achilles against Ireland © Getty Images

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