Six Nations Live

Italy v Wales

Series 2 - Episode 2 Italy v Wales

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Review

On the face of it, a visit to Rome looks like a less-than-scary opener for Wales, under their new captain Alun Wyn Jones. But then France probably thought the same when they opened last year’s tournament against Italy and found themselves at one stage 18–10 down – at home. Of course, Italy went on to lose that match, but a gutsy win over South Africa in the autumn suggests the Azzurri might have turned a corner.

They’re under new management: former Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea is determined to demonstrate they belong in the Six Nations once and for all. So it won’t be a Roman holiday for Wales, but if they don’t win – preferably pocketing a bonus point in the process – it’ll be disastrous.

Martyn Williams on Wales
“Despite winning three of their four games in the autumn series, Wales came in for a lot of criticism, both for their style of rugby and because the side hasn’t developed like England and Ireland have. But Wales won’t mind going into the tournament a little bit under the radar. I think it suits us better when we’re underdogs. Warren Gatland isn’t in charge because he’s preparing for the Lions tour later this year. But interim head coach Rob Howley was in the same position in 2013, and he led Wales to the title.”

One to watch: Justin Tipuric
“Justin’s a phenomenal flanker. He’s incredibly fit, amazingly skilful and devastatingly quick; a brilliant all-round performer. People often accuse modern rugby players of being nothing much more than robotic gym monkeys, but Justin is a million miles from that. He’s a total natural.” Howard Johnson

Summary

Italy v Wales (Kick-off 2.00pm). The opening weekend of the competition reaches a conclusion at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, where the hosts are aiming to cause an upset. The Azzurri lost all five of their matches last year to finish bottom of the table once again and, while Wales were far from at their best during the tournament, Warren Gatland's men still managed to finish second behind Grand Slam winners England. Presented by Jill Douglas, with analysis from Shane Williams, Ugo Monye and Maggie Alphonsi, and commentary by Miles Harrison and Ben Kay.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Jill Douglas
Guest Shane Williams
Guest Ugo Monye
Guest Maggie Alphonsi
Commentator Miles Harrison
Commentator Ben Kay
Editor Stuart Smith
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