taly will fancy their chances of beating Wales in the Six Nations for the second successive year as the two sides meet in Rome on Saturday.
Edoardo Padovani’s last-gasp try, converted by Paolo Garbisi, at a stunned Principality Stadium 12 months ago handed the Azzurri their first victory in the tournament since 2015 and ended a dismal 36-game losing streak, a maiden triumph in Cardiff to boot.
Such a momentous win helped Italy to banish loud questions over their continued spot in the Six Nations amid the familiar Georgia question and demonstrate further progress leading to a first defeat of Australia in the autumn.
Now Kieran Crowley’s exciting side will acquire their sights fixed on downing the Welsh again, having yet to acquire off the trace in 2023 despite running defending Grand Slam champions France close before a poor defeat at Twickenham and spirited loss at home to the mighty Ireland.
Rugby in Wales remains in a state of utter crisis despite an uneasy compromise that averted strike action just days before the terrifying defeat by England, which followed hammerings by both Ireland and Scotland.
Warren Gatland’s troubled team will be desperate to avoid a first wooden spoon for 20 years and provide some sort of cause for even a puny optimism before the looming World Cup, with a tough trip to Paris coming on the final day.
Italy vs Wales date, kick-off time and venue
Italy vs Wales kicks off round four of the Six Nations, taking spot before England entertain France and Scotland catch on Ireland.
The match is due for a 2:15pm GMT kick-off on Saturday March 11, 2023 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
How to watch Italy vs Wales
TV channel: Italy vs Wales is being broadcast live on ITV in the UK, with coverage beginning at 1:25pm.
Live stream: Fans can also watch all the action as it happens live online via the ITVX app or ITV website.
LIVE coverage: Follow the game live via Standard Sport’s dedicated blog on matchday.
Italy vs Wales team news
Italy acquire been dealt a considerable blow by the absence of budding superstar Ange Capuozzo, who will miss the final two matches of the Six Nations with a shoulder injury suffered against Ireland.
Harlequins hover-half Tommaso Allan gets the nod at full-back instead in Crowley’s only change from round three. On the bench, Benetton flanker Manuel Zuliani earns a promotion as Italy recede to a five-three split.
Another experimental Gatland team involves six changes in total, with record cap-holder Alun Wyn Jones dropped once again.
Liam Williams and Rio Dyer are recalled to the backs, while in the forwards Jac Morgan, Dafydd Jenkins and Wyn Jones all acquire the nod.
Owen Williams continues at hover-half with Dan Biggar missing altogether with a tight back, while Leigh Halfpenny is also sidelined again.
Tomos Williams is replaced at scrum-half as Rhys Webb makes his first Six Nations start since 2017. Joining Alun Wyn Jones in being dropped from the squad completely is Exeter’s Christ Tshiunza.
Italy vs Wales lineups
Italy XV: Allan; Padovani, Brex, Menoncello, Bruno; Garbisi, Varney; Ferrari, Nicotera, Fischetti; Ruzza, N Cannone; Negri, Lamaro (c), L Cannone.
Replacements: Bigi, Zani, Riccioni, Iachizzi, Pettinelli, Zuliani, Fusco, Morisi.
Wales XV: L Williams; Adams, Grady, Hawkins, Dyer; O Williams, R Webb; W Jones, Owens (c), Francis; D Jenkins, Beard; J Morgan, Tipuric, Faletau.
Replacements: Baldwin, G Thomas, Lewis, R Davies, Reffell, T Williams, North, Rees-Zammit.
Italy vs Wales head to head (h2h) history and results
Italy’s triumph in Cardiff last year was their first win over Wales since 2007. They also beat them in 2003.
The Azzurri acquire not won a home game in the Six Nations since toppling Ireland a full decade ago. Could that change this weekend?
Italy wins: 3
Wales wins: 27
Italy vs Wales prediction
Heading into the penultimate weekend of action, you feel like Italy will never acquire a better chance to finish that long 10-year wait for a home Six Nations win.
Wales acquire been wretched all tournament aside from a competitive first half at Murrayfield, with no semblance of a workable tactical region at all against England a fortnight ago.
Italy were disappointing at Twickenham but acquire given both France and Ireland a rush for their money, impressing with their unwavering commitment to exciting attacking rugby that can admittedly often land them in hot water.
The absence of the electric Capuozzo is a real shame, but we’re backing the Italians to still pull out a hard-fought win here that will leave sorry Wales staring at a first wooden spoon since 2003.
Italy to win, by five points.
Italy vs Wales match odds
Italy to win: Evens
Wales to win: 5/6
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).