Italy 20-34 Ireland LIVE! Six Nations 2023 result, match stream and rugby updates today

Italy 20-34 Ireland LIVE! Six Nations 2023 result, match stream and rugby updates today

Italy vs Ireland LIVE!

The Six Nations returned in Rome this afternoon with Ireland heavy favourites to take another step on the road to a first Grand Slam since 2018. Andy Farrell’s side were still basking in the glory of that epic 32-19 victory over defending champions France in Dublin a fortnight ago, one of the greatest matches that this brilliant competition has ever seen.

It was another key message from the Men in Green that they are peaking at exactly the right time as they look to end their World Cup hoodoo later this year. Farrell made six changes to his team for today’s clash at the Stadio Olimpico in round three, with a bonus-point wrapped up inside an electric first half.

Italy needed to regather some momentum having been outfought by England at Twickenham last time out and ran Ireland so close with an inspired second-half display, only for Mack Hansen’s late score to put a comeback out of reach. Follow Italy vs Ireland reaction in the Six Nations below!

Italy vs Ireland latest news

  • Kick-off time: 2.15pm GMT, Stadio Olimpico

  • How to watch: ITV

  • Italy lineup as Garbisi returns at fly-half

  • Ireland lineup after six Farrell changes

  • Prediction: Ireland to win by 25 points


16:14 , George Flood

Italy 20-34 Ireland

One step closer to that coveted first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2018 for Ireland.

Five tries and another bonus-point win in the bag, but that was a real test provided by Italy after an inspired second half.

It’s Murrayfield next for Andy Farrell’s side in two weeks’ time, while the Azzurri will have renewed confidence that they can beat Wales for the second year running.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

16:10 , George Flood

82 mins: The clock is in the red as Ireland continue to attack.

Italy have a lineout and we play on as they try to move forward at the death, with an intercept almost leading to a last-gasp Lowe try.

But he can’t provide the finish and the final whistle sounds.

Watch: Mack Hansen seals Irish victory

16:08 , George Flood

16:08 , George Flood

79 mins: A late Six Nations debut now for Munster’s Jack Crowley, who replaces Byrne.

16:06 , George Flood

78 mins: Mack Hansen named man of the match, after Pettinelli loses it forward as Italy launch maybe one final attack.

Garbisi has ice on his shoulder after going off a few minutes ago, with Tommaso Allan on.

Edoardo Iachizzi also on in that Italian second row, with Jimmy O’Brien replacing McCloskey for Ireland.

16:04 , George Flood

75 mins: Italy lose their first lineout deep inside the Irish 22 with five minutes left on the clock.

Menoncello then slaps the touchline flag in frustration as he looks to chase down a kick down-field.

No lack of fight in this Azzurri team, that’s for damn sure.

TRY! Italy 20-34 Ireland | Mack Hansen 71’

15:58 , George Flood

71 mins: That feels like the dagger for Italy as Hansen gets in for his second try of the afternoon!

Ireland stubbornly carry through almost 20 phases, including a couple of hard runs from Doris.

Eventually, Murray ends up popping the ball over the top for Hansen to weave through and stylishly score the fifth Irish try.

An easy conversion made by Byrne. Ireland lead by 14 points with just minutes remaining.


15:55 , George Flood

67 mins: Conor Murray replaces Casey at scrum-half for Ireland. Dave Kilcoyne also replaces Porter at loosehead.

Wonderful from Italy as a ball back inside releases Giovanni Pettinelli, who replaced Lorenzo Cannone a few minutes ago.

Van der Flier makes the stop and harries at the breakdown, not getting the turnover but crucially just slowing the ball enough for Ireland to regroup.

Italy try a rather bizarre kick into the dead-ball zone, but the ball does not bounce kindly for chasing lock Federico Ruzza.

PENALTY! Italy 20-27 Ireland | Ross Byrne 65'

15:52 , George Flood

65 mins: Despite the bonus point, this is nowhere near as comfortable as Ireland would like or expect.

They manage to force a penalty and stand-in skipper Ryan wisely points to the posts with 15 minutes remaining.

Byrne’s successful kick makes it a seven-point lead.

15:50 , George Flood

62 mins: You have to applaud Italy’s effort here - they are the ones forcing the initiative and trying to play high-tempo, attacking rugby whenever possible.

Luca Bigi is back on for Nicotera at hooker and Federico Zani replaces London Irish loosehead Danilo Fischetti.

15:46 , George Flood

60 mins: Dan Sheehan and Peter O’Mahony were brought on for Ireland after that Garbisi penalty.

Italy bravely try to play out from their own line after a lineout!

It’s so nearly brilliant, but ends with a great covering challenge from McCloskey and the Azzurri do then wisely put boot to ball.

15:43 , George Flood

58 mins: Great response from Ireland as they attack with menace down that short side again after superb feet from Doris.

Aki and Lowe combine, with the former hauled down by Nicolo Cannone before the line.

He regathers and manages to dot down, but doesn’t look confident that he’s scored.

Replays show that he split it forward...

PENALTY! Italy 20-24 Ireland | Paolo Garbisi 56'

15:41 , George Flood

56 mins: Now then!

Italy back to within just four points after a solid kick from Garbisi.

Porter the man responsible for giving away that penalty after a bodycheck on Brex that prevented him from getting to the loose ball.

15:37 , George Flood

52 mins: A real triumph for Italy there as the Ireland lineout goes awry, is stolen and they concede the penalty.

The Azzurri then inject the tempo in attack, with an eye-catching move led by the brilliant Capuozzo.

They end up with another penalty after a high tackle from McCloskey on Capuozzo which Garbisi boots to touch after a physio holds things up.

A change at lock for Ireland with Ryan Baird on for Henderson.

15:34 , George Flood

50 mins: My earlier chastising of the Italy defence feels grossly unfair now as they still hold up that rigid blue wall across the 22.

There is again no way through for Ireland, but they are keeping the ball through the phases and picking up the odd penalty to continue to drain the hosts’ energy reserves.

Byrne kicks for another lineout.

15:31 , George Flood

47 mins: Ireland are camped inside the Italy 22 once more, but the Azzurri’s fierce tackling and line speed is on point as they frustrate and drive back.

Their maul defence is also brilliant as the Irish run through the phases but can’t make the breakthrough.

They think there’s a turnover, but we’re coming back for an earlier issue. Scrum green.

15:28 , George Flood

45 mins: Ireland have a scrum now and attack off it with a penalty advantage, with a left-foot kick from Byrne causing all sorts of chaos for Italy as Capuozzo tries to prevent Lowe from scooping up the loose ball and scoring.

We come back for the penalty, which Byrne fires into touch deep inside that Italy 22.

Saracens tighthead Marco Riccioni is coming on for Italy, with Simone Ferrari withdrawn by Kieran Crowley.

15:26 , George Flood

44 mins: The ball is ruled unplayable as Italy attack inside the 22 early in this second half and we have a scrum.

Then a roar from Ireland’s pack as the Azzurri fold under pressure and the visitors boom the ball back down the field.

15:25 , George Flood

Ireland’s players are wearing black armbands today, by the way.

It’s in memory of Tom Tierney, the former Ireland international who sadly passed away yesterday at the age of 46.

15:23 , George Flood

41 min: Nicotera is back on for Italy at hooker, by the way. Passed his HIA.

Italy straight onto the attack in this second half...

Second half

15:22 , George Flood

Back underway at the Stadio Olimpico!

Can Ireland pull away, or will Italy manage to make this really interesting?

15:18 , George Flood

Ireland will be delighted to have that bonus point in the bag already, but Italy won’t go away and that excellent read from Bruno has given them renewed hope.

One big concern for Farrell will be the loss of Finlay Bealham, who has done so well filling in for Tadhg Furlong at tighthead.

Farrell is confident that Furlong will be back for the Scotland game, though.

For now it’s Ulster’s Tom O’Toole who needs to step up.

Watch: Bruno intercept try on stroke of half-time

15:13 , George Flood


15:08 , George Flood

Italy 17-24 Ireland

TRY! Italy 17-24 Ireland | Pierre Bruno 41'

15:06 , George Flood

41 mins: What a read from Bruno, who expertly nabs Aki’s pass intended for Byrne and sprints away to run in Italy’s second try on the stroke of half-time.

The home crowd certainly enjoyed that one!

A simple conversion from Garbisi goes through and brings Italy back to within seven points at the break.

What an end to an electric first half in Rome.

Bealham has gone off for Ireland by the way, with O’Toole on.

15:05 , George Flood

39 mins: Ireland are pushing for a fifth try before the interval, with Hansen cutting in off the right flank and combining with Casey.

Ireland end up with a lineout, but a pass is intercepted and Italy race away to score! WOW!

TRY! Italy 10-24 Ireland | Mack Hansen 36’

15:00 , George Flood

36 mins: The pressure finally tells as Ireland wrap up a bonus point inside the first half!

It’s so smart again, with Italy’s defence expecting another pick and go to the left after Kelleher charges into the line from another tap penalty.

But Ireland switch it up and move right, with Casey and McCloskey combining to put Hansen over in the right corner.

Byrne misjudges the conversion attempt from next to the touchline. 24-10 with half-time looming.

14:59 , George Flood

34 mins: Bealham is patched up and stays on for now.

Ireland go quickly with the tap penalty and are instantly camped back just outside the line, attacking with an advantage.

A free-ball move doesn’t quite come off and they take another tap penalty to keep this massive pressure on Italy...

14:58 , George Flood

32 mins: Ireland forego a maul off the lineout deep inside the Italy 22 as Doris breaks free from the back - that was really clever.

The Azzurri are desperately defending the line once more, with both centres whistled for offside in Menoncello and Ignacio Brex.

Finlay Bealham is down receiving treatment for Ireland, with Ulster tighthead Tom O'Toole perhaps needed to come on.

14:54 , George Flood

31 mins: Italy’s defence has left a lot to be desired during this first half, but it stands up there in front of the line.

Ireland look likely to go over again as loosehead Porter leads the charge, but there are a couple of super tackles and they eventually win a crucial turnover.

Giacomo Nicotera is off for a HIA, so Luca Bigi is on at hooker for the Italians for now.

14:52 , George Flood

29 mins: Adamson believes the towering Cannone was simply holding his ground and there is no punishment for the Benetton lock.

Back for the penalty, with Ireland back hunting a bonus-point try already after they boom to touch inside the 22...

14:50 , George Flood

28 mins: It’s high tempo in attack from both sides all the time in this first half.

But Italy succumb to another error as they are pinged for offside.

Lock Nicolo Cannone could also be in trouble here after a painful block on Ireland’s diminutive scrum-half Casey.

Did he hold his ground there or turn his shoulder into the throat of the Munster man? Adamson calls for the TMO to review...

Watch: Bundee Aki touches down Irish try number three

14:48 , George Flood

14:47 , George Flood

25 mins: Some joy for Italy at scrum time after a couple of tedious resets and a big shove.

The great Paul O’Connell looks frustrated by that up in the coaches box.

14:45 , George Flood

23 mins: Italy have a scrum five metres out after a rare spill from Lowe.

It’s a big chance for the Azzurri to register their second try of the day, but Ireland’s defence stands firm and they win a turnover on the floor.

Lowe then makes up for his error with an exquisite clearing kick.

TRY! Italy 10-19 Ireland | Bundee Aki 20’

14:42 , George Flood

20 mins: The pace of this match is absolutely ludicruous!

Ireland run in try number three after Garbisi forces the pace and sees his high pass intercepted by Lowe.

Suddenly Farrell’s side are back in the ascendancy and work another brilliant move out left, with more expert passing and support lines.

They work an overload on the short side and Lowe tosses a cute no-look pass inside to Ake, who charges over.

A difficult conversion from Byrne goes over. Ireland’s lead now up to nine points.

For all their brave attacking play, Italy are dreadful defensively.


PENALTY! Italy 10-12 Ireland | Paolo Garbisi 18'

14:40 , George Flood

18 mins: A lovely kick from the fit-again Montpellier fly-half splits the uprights.

Italy trim the Ireland lead to two points approaching the 20-minute mark - 12-10.

Watch: Hugo Keenan scores Ireland’s second try

14:38 , George Flood

14:38 , George Flood

16 mins: Menoncello kicks down the left flank to put Ireland under all sorts of pressure, with Casey forced to chase back and tidy up.

Referee Adamson then awards Italy a penalty after Mack Hansen had bumped Menoncello into touch.

Italy point to the posts as Garbisi hopes to reduce the deficit back to two points.

TRY! Italy 7-12 Ireland | Hugo Keenan 14'

14:33 , George Flood

14 mins: Hard to keep up with what has been an absolutely rip-roaring first quarter of an hour in Rome!

Absolutely brilliant hands from Byrne and McCloskey, with Ake breaking through for the Men in Green.

Keenan receives possession and weaves his way past Garbisi, whose missed tackle there proves absolutely crucial.

Ireland’s irrepressible full-back goes over and this time there are no issues withy Byrne’s conversion. Ireland back ahead, 12-7.

No time to catch your breath!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Watch: Lowe has early score chalked off

14:33 , George Flood

Watch: Italy hit back through Varney

14:32 , George Flood

14:31 , George Flood

10 mins: Ireland’s defence is uncharacteristically creaking early on here.

The returning Garbisi is pulling the strings beautifully from 10, with Italy boasting runners and threats all over the park as they attack wonderfully off the back of a lineout.

Lorenzo Cannone makes another fantastic break and only a crucial turnover from prop Andrew Porter deep inside the 22 saves Ireland.

TRY! Italy 7-5 Ireland | Stephen Varney 7’

14:28 , George Flood

7 mins: How’s that for a swift response from the Azzurri!

Aki and Lowe are exposed in defence as Italy attack brilliantly, going from left to right in a flash with purpose, great handling, carrying and intensity.

No8 Lorenzo Cannone crucially keeps hold of the ball as he is dragged down just before the line and Gloucester scrum-half Varney quickly picks up and darts over.

Great try. Garbisi’s first kick off the tee sails through. Italy lead!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Watch: James Ryan scores first Ireland try

14:25 , George Flood

TRY! Italy 0-5 Ireland | James Ryan 3’

14:23 , George Flood

3 mins: The TMO won’t need to check that one.

Ireland go down the short-side on a counter-attack out left and Aki brilliantly breaks through two tacklers.

He goes outside to Lowe, who then promptly plays a pass back inside to Ryan.

The stand-in captain fakes to pass to the supporting Casey and goes over himself.

A tricky conversion from Byrne sails wide of the left-hand post. 5-0 it remains.

Really ominous signs for Italy already.



14:21 , George Flood

2 mins: It’s no try!

The officials look at every available angle, with the TMO eventually deciding that Lowe dropped the ball over the line.

That looked like the right decision.

An early reprieve for Italy but here come Ireland again...

14:19 , George Flood

2 mins: Ireland slice Italy apart with their very first attack of the game!

Flying flanker Josh van der Flier breaks free and James Lowe ends up finishing with one hand in the left corner with Ange Capuozzo draped all over his back.

It looks like a try, but we’ll need to check the grounding here...


14:17 , George Flood

Underway in Rome!

Can Ireland move one step closer to a Six Nations Grand Slam?

Or will Italy provide a monumental shock in their bid for a first win over the Men in Green for a decade?

Time to find out as Ross Byrne kicks off.

Scotland’s Mike Adamson is today’s referee.

14:11 , George Flood

Time for the national anthems!

Few better in the world than Italy’s rousing Il Canto degli Italiani.

14:09 , George Flood

Here come the teams at the Stadio Olimpico!

Lions lock James Ryan leading out Ireland for the seventh time at senior level with usual skipper Johnny Sexton only a spectator this afternoon.

Michele Lamaro walks out the hosts.

14:07 , George Flood

A quick reminder of today’s teams in Rome...

13:57 , George Flood

Final preparations at the Stadio Olimpico! Kick-off in Six Nations round three is just over 20 minutes away...


Farrell admits fear of Ireland complacency

13:45 , George Flood

We’ve seen a candid Andy Farrell at times this week in the build-up to the trip to Rome.

Most coaches would be absolutely cock-a-hoop with how things have been going for Ireland, but the former England defence guru admits that he still fears the possibility of complacency creeping in during a massive year.

“I still fear it now,” he said.

“I suppose that’s it right there because there’s two teams that go at it and someday somebody is going to win whether it’s 50-50 or not. It’s up to us whether it is or not.

“It’s just driving our standards and having a realisation and an honesty of where we’re at and making sure that those standards in our preparation on a daily basis is where they need to be.”

 (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Six Nations standings

13:36 , George Flood

A reminder of how the Six Nations table looks heading into round three, with Ireland topping the pile but Scotland not far behind ahead of their trip to Paris tomorrow...

Ireland expect key trio back for Murrayfield

13:21 , George Flood

Andy Farrell said he was “10 out of 10” on the confidence scale when asked this week if Sexton, forced off early in the second half against France, would return for a tough trip to Murrayfield in two weeks’ time.

He added that star tighthead Tadhg Furlong and starting scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park would also be back for that showdown in Glasgow.

A massive, massive boost for Ireland’s chances of completing that first Grand Slam since 2018.


Farrell confident in Ireland’s Test rookies

13:05 , George Flood

The question of how to adequately replace the influential Johnny Sexton, set to retire after the World Cup, has continued to be the one thing causing unease during Ireland’s rise to the top.

With Joey Carbery omitted, the faith has now been placed in Leinster understudy Ross Byrne to try and prove himself worthy of that coveted no10 jersey in the long-term.

He certainly made a good impression off the bench against France, with Andy Farrell confident that both he and new scrum-half Craig Casey can reach the required level.


"What's been impressive for them coming off the bench is they've watched the game, they've got a feel for the game and they understand how to control what they were trying to achieve," said Farrell.

"A little bit of a different dynamic for them, starting the game, but we expect the control that they've had. It was the right thing for the right moment and we expect that to be the same from the start of the game.

"We want to obviously take our game to Italy and they'll be at the forefront of that."

12:53 , George Flood

The Irish fans are out in force in Rome! Should be some atmosphere in store at the Stadio Olimpico this afternoon.


Farrell: Italy are a ‘serious threat’ to Ireland

12:45 , George Flood

Italy have only ever beaten Ireland once in the Six Nations - a 22-15 upset in Rome way back in 2013.

Few give them a prayer of replicating that feat this afternoon despite the clear strides made under Kieran Crowley, though Andy Farrell certainly won’t be guilty of underestimating the Azzurri as he looks to avoid a monumental shock.

"We've full respect for Italy," he said on Friday.

"Italy are obviously chasing that win at home and it's a big scalp, so we know the emotion that they've always had, but the skill that they've put in with that now makes them a serious threat to us.

"We're aware of that, and our preparation says so. There's a realisation of what we're up against this week and it'll be a tough one."

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Catt allays fears over Ringrose injury

12:35 , George Flood

To lose such an ever-present Test warrior like Garry Ringrose is a blow for Ireland, whose remarkable success has not skipped a beat despite the absences of several key players.

The reliable Leinster centre was due to earn his 50th senior cap in Rome this afternoon, but instead Bundee Aki will move from inside to outside centre as Stuart McCloskey lines up at 12.

But Ireland attack coach Mike Catt has insisted that Ringrose’s calf issue is nothing serious, with Scotland and England on the horizon to finish off the Six Nations.

“Garry picked a bit of knock up on his calf last week,” Catt said after Friday’s captain’s run.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“We've sort managed it through the week, and unfortunately, I think due to the travel and everything yesterday, he's woken up a little bit tight. He's obviously very, very disappointed because it was going to be his 50th cap, so he's out.

“But it does give Stuart McCloskey, who is coming back into the team, and Jimmy O'Brien an opportunity to play in a side that's flying at the moment and gives them an opportunity to show what they're about as well.

“No, definitely not [Ringrose facing a long spell out]. It literally just tightened up this morning. He hasn’t pulled anything or done anything like that. It’s obviously very disappointing for him.”

Garbisi returns for Italy

12:21 , George Flood

Three changes from Kieran Crowley to the Italy team that started against England at Twickenham a fortnight ago.

Pierre Bruno is recalled to the wing, with London Irish centre Luca Morisi dropped to the bench as Tommaso Menoncello moves into midfield.

In the front row, Simone Ferrari is preferred to Saracens tighthead Marco Riccioni.

But the biggest news is at fly-half, where first-choice Paolo Garbisi returns after a knee injury to start in place of Harlequins’ Tommaso Allan.

On the bench, Giovanni Pettinelli comes into the fold as back-row cover with Gloucester’s Jake Polledri sadly injured again having earned his first cap since 2020 in round two.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

No Sexton as Ireland ring changes

12:15 , George Flood

Sexton is not risked for Ireland today due to a leg issue, so Ross Byrne gets the keys at fly-half having impressed off the bench against France.

Ditto Craig Casey, with Conor Murray dropping to the bench as Andy Farrell experiments with a new half-back pairing in Rome.

Stuart McCloskey had initially been among the replacements, but starts alongside Bundee Aki in the centres with Garry Ringrose lost on Friday to a calf injury.

Ireland’s back three is unchanged, while in the pack Ronan Kelleher starts at hooker with Rob Herring out after that hit from Uini Atonio and usual starter Dan Sheehan fit enough for the bench in a huge boost.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

James Ryan captains Ireland for the seventh time from the second row with Sexton sidelined, partnered by Iain Henderson with Tadhg Beirne ruled out for up to 12 weeks with an ankle injury.

Jack Conan also comes in at no8, with the excellent Caelan Doris switching to the blindside flank and Peter O’Mahony on the bench.

Ireland are still without the likes of Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson-Park, Robbie Henshaw and Cian Healy.

Munster’s Jack Crowley is in line to make his Six Nations debut from the bench as Byrne’s understudy, while the absence of Ringrose means Jimmy O’Brien is promoted to the matchday squad.

Ryan Baird is also in as cover at lock.

Italy vs Ireland prediction

12:02 , George Flood

Ireland are the best team in the world by some distance at the moment, with that exhilarating win over France - in which they left several tries on the field - further underlining their significant progress under Farrell ahead of the World Cup, where they have never gone beyond the quarter-finals.

A Grand Slam looks more and more likely for the Men in Green with Scotland and England to come, while it is very difficult indeed to see them slipping up remotely in Rome despite missing the likes of the influential Johhny Sexton.

Italy were wretched for spells against England and will have to rediscover the sort of fearless display that saw them almost beat France in round one in order just to keep things respectable on Saturday.

A comfortable away win beckons, with the Azzurri likely targeting the visit of crisis-stricken Wales on March 11 as their best chance for victory this year.

Ireland to win by 25 points.


Ireland lineup

12:00 , George Flood

Ireland XV: Keenan; Hansen, Aki, McCloskey, Lowe; R Byrne, Casey; Porter, Kelleher, Bealham; Henderson, Ryan (c); Doris, Van der Flier, Conan.

Replacements: D Sheehan, Kilcoyne, O’Toole, Baird, O’Mahony, Murray, Crowley, O’Brien.

Italy lineup

12:00 , George Flood

Italy XV: Capuozzo; Padovani, Brex, Menoncello, Bruno; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Nicotera, Ferrari, N Cannone, Ruzza, Negri, Lamaro (c), L Cannone.

Replacements: Bigi, Zani, Riccioni, Iachizzi, Pettinelli, Fusco, Morisi, Allan.

How to watch Italy vs Ireland

11:59 , George Flood

TV channel: In the UK, Italy vs Ireland is being broadcast live and free-to-air on ITV1, with coverage beginning at 1:25pm this afternoon.

Live stream: Fans can also follow the action live online via the ITVX app and ITV website.

Welcome to Italy vs Ireland LIVE coverage!

11:55 , George Flood

Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s latest LIVE coverage of the 2023 Six Nations, with the action returning this afternoon after the first fallow week of the competition.

A bruising showdown between Wales and England is on the agenda later in Cardiff with Scotland then travelling to France tomorrow, but first up in round three it’s to Rome we go.

Ireland arrive at the Stadio Olimpico looking to move within two more wins of a first Grand Slam since 2018 after that unforgettable triumph over the French in Dublin a fortnight ago that laid down another serious marker in a World Cup year.

They are big favourites to dismiss an Italy team that took a concerning step back against England at Twickenham having run the French so close on home soil on opening weekend

Kick-off today is at 2:15pm GMT, so stay tuned for build-up, all the latest team news, thoughts from both camps and live match updates.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)