Six Nations 2015: Italy v Wales preview

Wales can lay down a marker for their Six Nations title rivals in the first match of the final Six Nations weekend

Six Nations 2015: Italy v Wales, kick-off 12:30pm BBC1

Wales will need a barnstorming win against Italy to even stand a chance of winning the Six Nations, but the fact they are still in contention at all is testament to this side’s recovery since that traumatic loss to England in the opening weekend.

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That Wales were brushed aside at home by their rivals from across the Severn was a bitter pill to swallow, but wins against Scotland, France and – most impressively – Ireland have put them back in the hunt for the Six Nations championship.

Wales play Italy in the first game of the final weekend, meaning that all they can do is try to score as many points as they can and then wait to see if their rivals slip up.

Captain Sam Warburton knows his side are well behind when it comes to points difference – they are on +12, Ireland on +33 and England out in front on +37.

That means that Wales must beat Italy by at least 26 points to overtake England, before waiting anxiously to see how results pan out in the later two games.

A win of course is far from guaranteed, especially at home against an Italian side led by towering Number 8 Sergio Parisse. Scotland know all too well that once Italy get on a roll, they are very hard to stop.

Even if Wales do win, and then against the odds win the championship, because of the logistics there will be no trophy for them to lift in an empty stadium in Rome.

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Not that Wales will mind the anti-climax.