Italy vs Wales LIVE: Six Nations score and result as Wales win wooden spoon clash in Rome

Italy vs Wales LIVE: Six Nations score and result as Wales win wooden spoon clash in Rome

Follow live updates as Italy host Wales in a Six Nations clash to avoid the wooden spoon.

The pressure is on Warren Gatland’s side as they travel to the Stadio Olympico bottom of the Six Nations table and in grave danger of finishing the tournament in last place for the first time in 20 years. Italy have been consigned to the wooden spoon in each of the last seven seasons but hope to pull off the upset in Rome.

Italy have shown flashes of their exciting development over the course of the Six Nations,  pushing defending champions France on the opening weekend and causing Ireland some problems last time out. The Azzurri have been left with the solitary losing bonus point, however,  but that is still more than Wales after their sorry defeats to Ireland, England and Scotland.

Defeat today in Rome would leave the loser staring at the wooden spoon and a winless campaign. Follow live updates from Italy vs Wales in the Six Nations, below.

Italy vs Wales LIVE: Latest Six Nations updates

  • Italy host Wales at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome

  • The losing team will be on the verge of an unwanted wooden spoon

  • Both sides have lost their opening three games of this year’s Championship

  • 68’ - TRY! Brex collects Bruno offload to score (ITA 17-29 WAL)

  • 50’ - TRY! Webb dummy starts a break and Faletau on hand to finish (ITA 10-29 WAL)

  • 43’ - TRY! Italy score their first try as Negri collects Allan’s chip (ITA 10-22 WAL)

  • 34’ - TRY! Wales awarded a penalty try after Italy bring down a maul illegally (ITA 3-22 WAL)

  • 18’ - TRY! Williams slips between poor tackles to dive over (ITA 3-15 WAL)

  • 10’ - TRY! Dyer capitalises on a fortuitous bounce that wrongfoots two Italians to dot down (ITA 0-10 WAL)

F/T: Italy 17-29 Wales

16:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rhys Webb went well on his return to the Welsh starting side, while I thought the partnership between Daffyd Jenkins and Adam Beard functioned nicely in tight and loose. Something to build on for Wales, certainly.

Italy will reload and come again, with a trip to Murrayfield on the final weekend - you hope that a couple of injury issues are not too serious and they’ll give it a better go in Edinburgh.

F/T: Italy 17-29 Wales

16:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Much more like it from Warren Gatland’s Wales, taking their chances early on in the encounter after a couple of Italian errors and then holding their hosts at bay as they tried to rally. A bonus point win in Rome should not be sniffed at given the difficulties both France and Ireland had in the Italian capital - Kieran Crowley’s side were below their best but that should just restore some confidence to the Welsh squad.


16:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Italy 17-29 Wales, 80 minutes

16:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales don’t get their lineout right, and Italy can have won last go at securing a losing bonus point. They’ll have to go from inside their own 22...

Penalty to Italy. A slightly theatrical fall ensures the referee spots a collision off the ball.

It matters not - Welsh hands pilfer the lineout throw and that’s your lot.

Italy 17-29 Wales, 78 minutes

16:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Having lost Ange Capuozzo for the tournament, and with Tommaso Menoncello already off today with what appeared a worrying leg injury, Italy won’t like the sight of Pierre Bruno squealing in pain after an uncomfortable return to earth from a high catch. He’s back on his feet soon enough, thankfully, but the intervention of an offside player in front of him means Wales have a penalty.

Italy 17-29 Wales, 77 minutes

16:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that certainly will - Federico Zani and Marco Riccioni are forced into retreat and concede a penalty.

A disappointed Michele Lamaro takes leave. The Italian skipper has given his all but he knows that is probably that. Giovanni Pettinelli replaces him.

Italy 17-29 Wales, 75 minutes

16:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ken Owens is recalled to action as Scott Baldwin is forced off from the Welsh front row.

A reset sees more time tick away. The second scrum goes down but Damon Murphy is not keen to intervene. Italy play right, Luca Morisi on Juan Ignacio Brex’s shoulder.

Back to the left. Alessandro Fusco tosses a passs across a pod of forwards, none of whom quite want to claim it. The ball tumbles forward, at first look from a boot, but a knock-on is the ruling, which may all but secure Wales’ win.

Italy 17-29 Wales, 74 minutes

16:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy fluff their lines with their first attempt at building inside the Welsh half but are soon returned to advanced territory, Manuel Zuliani striding impressively to the outside.

A pass flies errant and Wales snare it off the deck, but are penalised shortly after. Six minutes, 12 points - a quick try would make things interesting.

Michele Lamaro calls for a scrum.

Italy 17-29 Wales, 71 minutes

16:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A mistake from Wales gifts Italy the scrum feed, preserving hope of a comeback. They try their best to go from coast-to-coast up the left but Wales handle the runners after a modest gain.

Louis Rees-Zammit claims a kick and charges back on the counter, showing his flashing feet and that irresistable acceleration to beat one. He’s just about hauled back by the shorts elastic and he’s short of clearing players in support - Italy thus win a penalty at the breakdown.

Italy 17-29 Wales, 70 minutes

16:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not with errors like that. Paolo Garbisi screams his disapproval as his runners get all out of order and the ball tumbles free. Wales’ scrum inside the Italy 22.

TRY! ITALY 17-29 Wales (Juan Ignacio Brex try, 68 minutes)

15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Finally some cutting edge from the hosts!

Alessandro Fusco again plays a key role in a bright attacking moment for Italy, holding the defensive line with his eyes and picking out Pierre Bruno out the back. Bruno makes a half-bust and offloads neatly for Juan Ignacio Brex, who has the appropriate bulk to shake a tackler and score.

Over goes the conversion - surely, surely not?...

Italy 10-29 Wales, 66 minutes

15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Stolen by Justin Tipuric! An ambitious call from Italy, opting to target the tail, and Luca Bigi has to really strain to force his throw there. That tilts it off line, right into the welcoming grasp of the hoisted Welsh flanker.

Italy do manage to earn a scrum.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 66 minutes

15:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Daffyd Jenkins is then picked out for a maul infringement. Italy prod once more to the corner.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 65 minutes

15:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Feisty! A little scuffle breaks out, Alessandro Fusco boldly taking on all six feet and five inches of Mason Grady. Italy have a penalty, which Damon Murphy returns them to after warning both captains about the need for no further skirmishes.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 63 minutes

15:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy won’t go away. It’s a lovely move from the back of a scrum, Alessandro Fusco looping around his fly half and centres and then turning upfield at the right time to burst open the fissure. Support is slightly slow to get with the nine, though, and a bad pass forces a bad kick, ending the danger.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 62 minutes

15:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Liam Williams is the latest player to go down grasping at a sore limb - the Wales full back’s issue appears to be shoulder or rib related, arm laid across his chest with a grimace. George North steps in to the back three.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 61 minutes

15:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that’s a bit of a munching at scrum time from the Welsh front row, answering Italy’s recent ascendancy with a brisk, bruising drive.

Owen Williams’ kick fails to find touch.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 61 minutes

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy have had their fair share of useful attacking positions today but haven’t quite got their accuracy right. They should be able to play away from a lineout 35 metres from the Welsh line but tie the ball up in the back of a maul, Adam Beard’s swimming limbs getting to the ball to prevent it coming free. Italy can’t force it back - turnover, Welsh scrum feed.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 60 minutes

15:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is a disappointing sight for Italy - young centre Tommaso Menoncello grasps at his knee after being tackled, staying down in real discomfort. He is helped off with a heavy limp - you hope that is not as severe as, unfortunately, it appears to be with a World Cup now not so far in the future.

Luca Morisi replaces an anguished Menoncello.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 59 minutes

15:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fast and franctic from Italy as they hurl all they have at the Welsh defence on halfway. The visitors hold firm, forcing a couple of hurried offloads that don’t force an opening.

An Italian player is down receiving treatment, but onwards we will go for now. Italy get the better of a kicking exchange as Tomos Williams’ slices a punt out on the full.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 57 minutes

15:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Alessandro Fusco is on at scrum half for Italy, and sweeps a pass away to the right. Edoardo Padovani kicks ahead, but Wales are back in good number to touch down in goal, content enough to clear from a goalline drop out with Italy at arm’s length.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 56 minutes

15:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A reset of the scrum runs out the clock on Pierre Bruno’s time on the naughty step, and a free kick to the Italians should allow the wing to return. Ken Owens wonders quite why his side were whistled - he’ll get a chance for a more detailed chat with the referee as Italy opt to scrum again.

Here’s that Wales bonus point score:

Italy 10-29 Wales, 55 minutes

15:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It just hasn’t quite clicked regularly enough for Italy today. That’s a pretty basice error from Tommaso Menoncello, eyes up gazing at the approaching Welsh defensive line and thus not secure enough in his gather of Stephen Varney’s pass. Knocked on.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 54 minutes

15:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

About a minute left to run on Pierre Bruno’s period in the sin bin after his yellow card. Italy win a penalty at the scrum after Williams’ forward pass, Dillon Lewis turning in and forced to floor under pressure.

Rhys Webb’s afternoon is over; Tomos Williams steps in at nine for Wales.

Italy 10-29 Wales, 53 minutes

15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Josh Adams goes off for Wales, with Louis Rees-Zammit into the fray on the wing. Itlay have brought on Manuel Zuliani in the back row, and Luca Bigi at hooker.

Rees-Zammit is soon on the ball, looping around to take a pull-back play and make ground on the outside arc. Liam Williams adds his linking hands in the line, but tosses his pass to Rio Dyer a yard or two too far in front of the wing. It tumbles into touch.

TRY! Italy 10-29 WALES (Taulupe Faletau try, 50 minutes)

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Vintage Rhys Webb!

That’s classic Wales - the scrum half spies a slightly loose defensive formation on the fringes of a ruck, dummying and darting to hurry through a hole.

Taulupe Faletau provides perfect support, taking the scoring pass as Webb draws the last defender. Wales have a bonus poin. Owen Williams knocks over the conversion to further extend their advantage.

Italy 10-22 Wales, 49 minutes

15:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Daffyd Jenkins is hoisted highest to claim Owens’ throw. Italy’s maul defence is strong, strong enough to force Wales to try something different - but it all gets a little muddled in the visiting midfield, forcing an error from Joe Hawkins.

Italy gratefully clear via a kick out of their danger area towards halfway.

Italy 10-22 Wales, 48 minutes

15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales are soon back busying that right-hand corner, though, granted a penalty after exploring yet more open acreage up the right. Ken Owens is tasked with a lineout throw about seven metres out from the Italian line.

Italy 10-22 Wales, 47 minutes

15:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Held up! What a tackle from Stephen Varney!

Wales instantly find space down Bruno’s wing, attacking the blindside to exploit Italy’s lack of numbers. Josh Adams seems certain to score as he powers towards the corner, but Varney locks his limbs around the wing, keeping the ball from brushing the floor. In pile the scrum-half’s teammates to ensure his superb work is rewarded - goalline drop out.

YELLOW CARD! Pierre Bruno is sent to the sin bin! Italy 10-22 Wales, 46 minutes

15:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It is yellow. Moments after being restored to 15 players, Italy lose their left wing - Pierre Bruno’s non-ball carrying forearm did make quite significant contact with Wyn Jones’ jaw.

Jones is replaced by Gareth Thomas.

TMO check...

15:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The arm is slightly away from Bruno’s body, which won’t count in his favour. It is borderline - it is the sort of contact that could have been missed, but probably illegal in law...

Italy 10-22 Wales, 45 minutes

15:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wyn Jones hits the deck - he’s taken a sore one to the jaw from the thrusting arm of Pierre Bruno. The wing suggests it was only a hand-off - TMO Joy Neville may disagree as she calls down to referee Damon Murphy, requesting a review of the footage.

Italy 10-22 Wales, 44 minutes

15:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy are fizzing, perhaps buoyed by how Wales collapsed from a not dissimilar position of strength against Australia in the autumn. They go from deep, hands working nicely to create a soft edge on the left. Tommaso Allan connects with Stephen Varney after striding some 30 metres, but Varney’s pass back towards the touchline is away from the grasping hands of Pierre Bruno.

TRY! ITALY 10-22 Wales (Sebastian Negri try, 43 minutes)

15:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A much-needed Italian score to start the second half!

Better from the hosts, all sparked by that superb Menoncello break. Then it is a moment of invention to crack Wales open, Tommaso Allan chipping deftly over the top as he takes a clattering, Sebastian Negri chasing hard to make the most of a favourable bounce and biff his way over.

Allan dusts himself off and converts.

Italy 3-22 Wales, 41 minutes

15:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy still down a man with Lorenzo Cannone not yet cleared to return from his yellow.

Brilliant from Tommaso Menoncello! Not for the first time today the young centre breaks a couple of tackles and cuts up the middle with almost effortless strength and speed.

Second half underway....

15:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Back out there, and immediately after the restart Italy are awarded a penalty.

H/T: Italy 3-22 Wales

15:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales haven’t had to play particularly brilliantly, but they deserve credit for taking their chances sharply when they’ve come. Liam Williams finished his score particularly niftily, a sharp right-footed step and brusque jettisoning of Stephen Varney from his chest to capitalise on Tomas Francis’ turnover. The bonus point is very much in sight.

H/T: Italy 3-22 Wales

15:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A first half to rather puncture all the optimism Italy had found after the first three weeks of the championship. Loose in defence, loose in attack and with a rather unwelcome slice of misfortune to compound their woes.


15:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Italy 3-22 Wales, 41 minutes

15:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A cross-kick comes to nigh, with a rather uncomfortable tumble for Liam Williams after claiming. Back for the penalty...

Or not! The TMO informs Damon Murphy that the challebnge on Williams was worthy of a reversal, so Italy will miss out on points.

A disaster half for the hosts - the smiling Welsh squad follow Owen Williams’ kick down the tunnel.

Italy 3-22 Wales, 40 minutes

15:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Giacomo Nicotera hits his front jumper and in the bodies pile, Edoardo Padovani and Tommaso Menoncello lending their weight.

Wales somehow quell it a metre shy. But another advantage is coming...

Italy 3-22 Wales, 39 minutes

15:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A third penalty in quick succession against the visitors. Paolo Garbisi charges his forwards with another go in the corner.

Italy 3-22 Wales, 39 minutes

15:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy stick the penalty into the corner.

Simone Ferrari returns in place of Marco Riccioni, now with heavy strapping around his eyebrows.

Italy 3-22 Wales, 38 minutes

15:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The hosts need a score before the interval to have any hope, you’d say. They earn another penalty as a rolling Ken Owens forces Stephen Varney to fly off his feet, rather like a contest struck by the sweeper on Total Wipeout.

Italy 3-22 Wales, 36 minutes

15:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales return to the Italian 22, but Giacomo Nicotera limpets over the ball after Joe Hawkins is superbly cut down by Paolo Garbisi. A crucial, timely turnover from the hooker.

PENALTY TRY! Italy 3-22 WALES (Penalty try, 34 minutes)

15:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s no grounding apparent, but Wales will have seven points regardless - it’s a penalty try.

Lorenzo Cannone was buried at the bottom of the collapsed mass, and is duly sent to the sin bin for his infringement. Wales extend their lead and can go on the hunt for a first half bonus point.

TRY? Italy 3-15 Wales, 34 minutes

14:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The maul gets-a-moving and a few Welsh arms lift in celebration, but referee Damon Murphy desires further inspection. Upstairs for a look.

Italy 3-15 Wales, 33 minutes

14:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy halt the maul illegally; the Welsh attack with advantage goes awry and they’ll instead prod the penalty into the corner.

Italy 3-15 Wales, 32 minutes

14:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Some crossing ends a promising Italian attacking movement, Lorenzo Cannone angling his run into a Welsh defender and preventing a challenge.

Italy make an early alteration: Marco Riccioni replaces Simone Ferrari, who suffered that cut early on.

Italy 3-15 Wales, 30 minutes

14:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy clear their lines well from a scrum on their own 22-metre line, Tommaso Menoncello batting aside a tackler to make metres, allowing a long clearance. Italy earn a territorial win and a lineout on the opposition ten-metre.

Missed penalty! Italy 3-15 Wales, 28 minutes

14:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tugged away to the left - Williams had the oomph, but not the direction.

Italy 3-15 Wales, 27 minutes

14:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Paolo Garbisi compounds his centre’s error by straying offside near halfway. It is kickable - Owen Williams will line it up...

No try! Italy 3-15 Wales, 26 minutes

14:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

TMO Joy Neville and Damon Murphy work through the further intervention required. Knocked on in-goal, goalline drop out.

NO TRY! Juan Ignacio Brex knocks on as he tries to place! Italy 3-15 Wales, 26 minutes

14:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Oh my - there’s inches in it but Brex hasn’t quite managed to get that down. That’s two real gilt-edged opportunities gone for Italy.

It was a delightful attack from inside their own half, sparked by Paolo Garbisi - and it appears the officials want to check if a tackle off the ball requires further intervention.

Try? Have Italy gone the length of the field for a beauty?

14:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This could be a fabulous Italian team score - but has Juan Ignacio Brex managed to ground cleanly?...

Italy 3-15 Wales, 25 minutes

14:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Williams doesn’t seem to be moving totally freely - he pulled up slightly sore after scoring Wales’ second try, and now grasps at his thigh, straining the muscles to check all is in reasonable order. He’ll continue for now.

Italy 3-15 Wales, 23 minutes

14:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales penalty! Oh, a real chance missed for Italy when Varney seemed a certainty to charge in when Allan directed his pass towards him. Liam Williams gets over the ball as a group of Italian forwards are felled two metres short, and Danilo Fischetti is forced to cling on.

Italy 3-15 Wales, 22 minutes

14:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy test the defence at the back of Wales’ lineout, which is appropriately formed.

Here goes Varney, dummying thrice to would-be carriers to play out the back, but Edoardo Padovani can’t make particular ground up the right.

Carved open! Delightul run from Tommaso Allan, but his pass isn’t quite right, forcing Stephen Varney to check his run for the line...

Italy 3-15 Wales, 20 minutes

14:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The optimism apparent by the strength of the home crowd for kick off has just been punctured slightly with Wales already 12 points in front.

Time for more adventure, it appears, Stephen Varney switching left and right with the Italian forwards starting to get their offloads away. Eventually a penalty comes to allow advancement via the boot.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! Italy 3-15 WALES (Liam Williams try, 18 minutes)

14:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales pounce again!

Oh, Italy. Again it is from an innocuous situation, Tomas Francis jackalling well to win Wales possession but the score coming far too easily thereafter. Taulupe Faletau picks up and hurls the ball wide slightly wildly, but the bounce causes the defence to stall, allowing Liam Williams to gather and sashay through three would-be tacklers to the line. Weak defence from the hosts - Stephen Varney went too high and was rather easily brushed aside.

Owen Williams misses his conversion.

Italy 3-10 Wales, 17 minutes

14:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fleeting thoughts of playing from deep for Italy before Allan takes charge and kicks upfield. Wales try to win back possession in the air, Liam Williams contesting strongly, but unable to wrench the ball away from the Italian catcher.

Stolen! The ball breaks free for Taulupe Faletau...

PENALTY! ITALY 3-10 Wales (Tommaso Allan penalty, 16 minutes)

14:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It is Tommaso Allan rather than Paolo Garbisi on kicking duties for Italy this afternoon - the full back finds the safe embrace of the stands behind the posts with his first effort. Italy on the board.

Italy 0-10 Wales, 15 minutes

14:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Italian front row goes to work, drawing the sharp blast of the referee’s whistle and the chance to get on the board from the tee.

Italy 0-10 Wales, 14 minutes

14:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A sharply taken punt for touch allows Italy to advance up to the fringes of the Welsh 22, but their wide handling is again strangely inaccurate as an overlap is briefly created.

Wales make a hash of their lineout, though, and Italy can build again from the scrum.

Italy 0-10 Wales, 12 minutes

14:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

By contrast, that should just swell Wales’ confidence, which was rather in need of repair. They work the phases just inside the Italy half, but eventually lose thrust in midfield after Wyn Jones is well held. Owen Williams kicks ahead and Italy reply with a powerful punt, with Wales then offside as Liam Williams produces a kick of his own.

Italy 0-10 Wales, 11 minutes

14:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kieran Crowley doesn’t look particularly amused as he gazes on from high in the Stadio Olimpico coaching box. Italy haven’t done too much wrong so far, but one cruel bounce and they suddenly find themselves ten points down.

TRY! Italy 0-10 WALES (Rio Dyer try, 10 minutes)

14:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A horrible moment for Pierre Bruno! Oh, the bounce of a rugby ball...

With Welsh possession slow, Rhys Webb lifts a slightly directionless box kick up the left. Bruno appears to have it covered, hurtling across as it skips towards touch, but a horrible inwards hop leaves him totally helpless.

Rio Dyer is there to pick up the scraps, collecting and cantering around beneath the posts. Fortunate, maybe, but that’s exactly the sort of first ten minutes Warren Gatland would have wanted.

Italy 0-3 Wales, 8 minutes

14:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Down the 16 burly blokes go, and down the scrum goes, but Murphy allows Rhys Webb to play away.

A better defensive set from Italy initially, holding their shape and making their tackles. Juan Ignacio Brex shoots out the line to hit the long-striding Mason Grady behind the line.

But the bounce of the ball fools Italy and Wales are in!

Italy 0-3 Wales, 8 minutes

14:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A first muscular entanglement for the two front eights - or not, with Damon Murphy calling a halt before the scrum can set. Ah - a bit of blood on Simone Ferrari’s forehead.

He’ll be patched up by a medic.

Italy 0-3 Wales, 7 minutes

14:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another well executed restart drill from Wales, Rhys Webb this time directing his clearance in field. Edoardo Padovani takes confidently.

Italy spread it for the first time, looking to challenge the left edge, but an errant pass tumbles to floor and a stooping Juan Ignacio Brex fumbles off his shoelaces.

PENALTY! Italy 0-3 WALES (Owen Williams penalty, 6 minutes)

14:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Simple enough for Owen Williams, right of centre and 20 yards out. Wales strike first.

Italy 0-0 Wales, 5 minutes

14:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Joe Hawkins hits a hard angle back towards the lineout, chopped at the knees by an axe of a shoulder. Wales begin to build, though, punchy carries off Rhys Webb’s crisp pass and into the Italian 22.

Advantage coming, and Hawkins stabs into touch with an intended pursuer not quite reading his intentions. Back for the penalty, which Wales will kick at goal.

Italy 0-0 Wales, 4 minutes

14:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Beard takes the congratulatory slaps of his teammates as he strides up for the next lineout, which Wales win tidily.

A kick ahead comes to little and Paolo Garbisi clears for touch.

Italy 0-0 Wales, 3 minutes

14:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another platform for Italy...or not, as Adam Beard’s right paw slaps the ball away to steal the lineout. Italy then infringe at the resultant ruck.

Italy 0-0 Wales, 2 minutes

14:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A jaunty little chip off first phase, challenging the Welsh backfield, which is well formed and covers the space superbly, taken on the slide.

Wales run up towards halfway, Liam Williams looking to scythe to the outside but cut down emphatically. Italian hands get to the ruck ball - penalty to the hosts.

Italy 0-0 Wales, 1 minute

14:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Straight to the air for Wales, Rhys Webb dropping ball to right boot and lifting one up the touchline. It travels a metre too far for the contesting Welsh player to hook it back in - a good cahnce for Italy to launch a first attack.


14:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy vs Wales is underway.

Italy vs Wales

14:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy will kick us off, Damon Murphy engaging Paolo Garbisi in a quick discussion before the referee gets ready to peep on his whistle.

Here we go...

Italy vs Wales - Anthems

14:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The crowd power out “Il Canto degli Italiani”, stirring the Italian squad with kick off near.


14:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

After a mishap before the Ireland game, the Italians are appropriately drilled on the correct tempo at which to deliver “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau”, which is sung heartily by the Welsh squad and a travelling choir. Warren Gatland and his coaching box rise to their feet, a few nervous sways of the shoulders but more than ready. Rhys Webb chomps away on a piece of gum.

Italy vs Wales

14:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Michele Lamaro takes the hand of the young mascot waiting to accompany the Italian side out, flags waving proudly in the stands beyond them. It looks a fine turnout on a gorgeous March afternoon.

Italy vs Wales

14:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Out of the Stadio Olimpico tunnel comes Ken Owens, looking slightly heavy of foot after the exertions of a tough tournament. He’ll be up for battle today, though, deeply exhaling thrice as his teammates join him on the playing surface.

Italy vs Wales - Match Officials

14:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Referee: Damon Murphy (RA)

ARs: Karl Dickson (RFU) & Chris Busby (IRFU)

TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Italy vs Wales

14:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kick off swiftly approaching at the Stadio Olimpico. There is real energy behind the Italian team, with crowd support beginning to swell after encouraging television audiences over the first few weeks of the tournament.

Italy vs Wales - Italy prop Pietro Ceccarelli has a quick chat with ITV

14:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Now is the time we are going to win. I’m really nervous, I think I’m more nervous than the guys inside.

[What changes with Capuozzo out?] “Nothing. The guys that are on the bench, the guys who are working through the work are the same - we miss ange because he is a nice guy and a very good player.

“100% [today can be the day we win].”

Warren Gatland speaks to ITV

13:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Our challenge is to win as well. We’ve had a good week’s preparation - they know how important today is for all of us, we’ve spoken about that. We need to be smart in the way we play, but we also need to be brave. When those opportunities arrive, move the ball.

[On Rhys Webb] “I think he’s important. He’s been playing well for his region, he brings experience. It is a good chance to see where he is for the rest of the Six Nations and the World Cup.”

“We just need to go out there and be confident and play well.”

Italy vs Wales

13:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

For the first time in a long time though, you would make Italy favourites. Michele Lamaro spoke well on a couple of podcasts this week about how the Italy squad are adjusting to how the perception of them may change with more and more success. You would hope that they don’t temper any of their attacking verve and vigour despite the weight of expectation.

Italy vs Wales

13:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

All of the noises coming out of the Welsh camp this week haven’t suggested a particularly enjoyable environment as discussions continue over what the future of rugby in the country looks like. Do this squad have it in them to quieten the critics for an afternoon with a much-needed win?

Italy vs Wales

13:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There has been a fair bit of nasty weather around Europe this week, with high winds prevalent throughout the continent, but it is a balmy afternoon in Rome - crisp spring sunshine and the mercury nudging up towards 20 degress. You’d think that would suit these intrepid Italians.

Taulupe Faletau explains how Wales contract row has impacted performances

13:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales star Taulupe Faletau says it is “hard to give your all” against the crushing contractual and financial backdrop that has engulfed Welsh regional rugby.

All four Welsh professional regions – Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets – face major funding cuts, leading to vastly-reduced contract offers for many players whose deals expire at the end of this season, and a player exodus appears inevitable.

Along with issues like Wales’ former 60-cap selection rule and fixed-variable contracts, off-field problems led to the threat of a players’ strike before the Six Nations clash against England last month.

Although a strike was averted and the England game went ahead as scheduled, Wales suffered a third successive Six Nations defeat.

And they now head to Rome for an appointment with Italy on Saturday, when another loss would effectively mean a first wooden spoon since Wales lost all five championship fixtures in 2003.

“It is just unfortunate, and the situation we are all in at the moment is not great for anyone involved,” said Cardiff number eight Faletau.

Taulupe Faletau explains how Wales contract row has impacted performances

Warren Gatland identifies Italy threat that could ‘punish’ Wales in Six Nations clash

13:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales know they must stall Italy’s “coast to coast” attacking game in their quest for an overdue Six Nations victory on Saturday.

The only countries without a Six Nations win this season go head to head at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

It is 20 years since Wales finished bottom of the pile and were wooden spoon recipients, but that scenario could now easily unfold.

Successive defeats against Ireland, Scotland and England have left Wales scrambling around the Six Nations basement, yet to break their points duck and scoring only three tries in more than four hours of rugby.

Italy are one point above them, courtesy of a losing bonus collected against France, but six tries in losses to Les Bleus, England and Ireland showcased an adventurous approach.

“They are definitely the most athletic (Italy) side that we’ve seen,” Wales head coach Warren Gatland said.

“They try to play a wide-wide game. They have had some success in the tournament, but they have also been squeezed.”

Warren Gatland identifies Italy threat that could ‘punish’ Wales in Six Nations clash

Six Nations 2023: Italy vs Wales

13:31 , Jamie Braidwood

Warren Gatland has revealed that a threat of possible player strike action before Wales’ Six Nations clash against England caused “quite a significant split” and “tension” within his squad.

Wales head to Rome for a Six Nations appointment with Italy on Saturday, having lost their opening three games. Another defeat, and a first Six Nations wooden spoon for 20 years beckons, given that Wales’ final fixture is against France in Paris.

Although a strike was averted and the England game went ahead as scheduled, with Steve Borthwick’s team winning 20-10, Wales head coach Gatland said: “In terms of the stuff that was going on off the field, that definitely had an impact.

“There was quite a significant split in the group over which way to go, and I think that definitely caused some tension within the group for a couple of weeks.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Number eight battle of new and old

13:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two standouts for each side before the second fallow week were the number eights, Lorenzo Cannone’s canters catching the eye for Italy against Ireland and Taulupe Faletau showing all his wiles in Cardiff.

Faletau may no longer have quite the athleticism that once made him such a menace in wide channels but he is still playing at a consistently high level. Warren Gatland’s back row selections have been a touch confusing during this campaign but there isn’t a huge amount of depth beneath Faletau at number eight, so you would think he’ll remain a key figure throughout the next six months or so – his sort of big-game character and experience could be key today.

His opposite number is more than ten years his junior but there is hope that Cannone can now kick on and make a back row berth his own. Toa Halafihi will be back at some point and offers real solidity at the base but Cannone’s long-striding, hard-hitting ability understandably appeals to Kieran Crowley. It is always worth remembering how young this Italian squad is – at 22, Paolo Garbisi is the oldest of the key core quartet at 8, 9, 10 and 12. This feels like a good afternoon for a statement performance from Italy but there is so much more development yet to come.

Taulupe Faletau could be key for Wales this afternoon (PA Wire)
Taulupe Faletau could be key for Wales this afternoon (PA Wire)

Italy opt for Tommaso Allan at full back

13:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The loss of Ange Capuozzo is obviously a major blow for Italy, the quick-as-a-hiccup full back so at the heart of their attacking game over the last few weeks. But reinstating Tommaso Allan to the starting side is a shrewd move from Kieran Crowley, who could have looked to shift Edoardo Padovani to full back and make further changes but instead installs an extra specialist ten into his backline.

Allan and Paolo Garbisi worked well together in combination against Samoa in the autumn and the Harlequins fly-half has looked very tidy in the backfield whenever required for his club in the Premiership this year. He won’t quite threaten Wales in the way Capuozzo does but an extra controller might be no bad thing, and Italy still have plenty of counter-attacking acumen.

Every attack that has faced Wales so far has been able to manipulate space, and variation both from set piece strike moves and in phase play has been a feature of Italy’s tournament. With Allan and Garbisi they can split left and right with a playmaker each way for further attacking diversity to test the Welsh defence.

Warren Gatland backs Ospreys familiarity for improved attacking output

13:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

If there was a positive for Wales to take from the first two games this year against Ireland and Scotland, it was that their attack was creating chances – just not necessarily taking them. Their red zone conversion rate was historically bad in Rounds One and Two, but the underlying metrics at least suggested that there was more points scoring to come once Wales tightened up their work in the opposition 22. Against England…well, that didn’t quite pan out, with Wales largely unable to create consistent opportunities. But for Louis Rees-Zammit’s intercept score it would have been an ugly day indeed on the scoreboard, and they must rebound this afternoon.

Warren Gatland has put his faith in a playmaking axis from the Ospreys to deliver that improvement. Rhys Webb is back in favour at nine, while Owen Williams will be hoping for a more influential performance as he continues to get a slightly surprising run at seizing the ten shirt. Joe Hawkins’ tidy tournament bodes well for the future but this might be a day for the young inside centre to really step up against a similarly tender but talented 12 in Tommaso Menoncello.

Six Nations 2023: Italy vs Wales

13:15 , Jamie Braidwood

Wales captain Ken Owens has reflected on a “hugely emotional time” for Welsh rugby ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Italy in Rome.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland revealed on Thursday that a threat of possible player strike action before the Six Nations appointment with England last month caused a significant split and tension within his squad.

A crushing contractual and financial backdrop has engulfed Welsh regional rugby, with all four professional teams - Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets - facing major funding cuts leading to vastly-reduced contract offers for many players whose deals expire at the end of this season, and a player exodus appears inevitable.

Owens said: “In those two weeks, there was high emotion and a lot of different opinions, which is good. Every player in the squad is in a different situation in their career and where they are at in terms of contracting at the moment.

“It was a hugely emotional time for different reasons. The whole group were mature about it and a decision was made democratically - we all bought into that. That was two weeks ago now, and we have had time just to prepare and concentrate on the rugby, and that is what we will be doing tomorrow.

“There has been a lot going on off the field, which has been tough to deal with at times. It is what it is, and we have to get on with things.”

Team News – Wales

13:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Warren Gatland again makes significant changes to the Wales 23, with the starting side this week bearing six changes. Alun Wyn Jones drops out entirely with Daffyd Jenkins backed to partner Adam Beard at lock, while Jac Morgan and Justin Tipuric are the chosen colleagues for Taulupe Faletau one row further back.

Rhys Webb makes his first start of the tournament at scrum-half, with Owen Williams outside him and Dan Biggar another standout exclusion from the matchday squad. With no specialist ten elsewhere, Joe Hawkins will cover fly half alongside bidding to further bed in his nascent partnership with Mason Grady in the centres.

Wales XV: Wyn Jones, Ken Owens (capt.), Tomas Francis; Daffyd Jenkins, Adam Beard; Jac Morgan, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau; Rhys Webb, Owen Williams; Rio Dyer, Joe Hawkins, Mason Grady, Josh Adams; Liam Williams.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Gareth Thomas, Dillon Lewis, Rhys Davies, Tommy Reffell; Tomos Williams, George North, Louis Rees-Zammit.

Team News - Italy

13:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Disappointingly, Ange Capuozzo’s Six Nations is over due to a hand injury, prompting an enforced change from Kieran Crowley. It is the only one to the Italian starting fifteen, with Tommaso Allan pushed into a full back role he has fulfilled at times for Harlequins this season – the playmaker may lack Capuozzo’s dynamic, free-running threat but adds another kicker and distributor to Italy’s funky, adventurous attack.

On the bench, Crowley returns to a 6:2 split, with Manuel Zuliani recalled to the matchday 23 to provide cover for a back row that impressed against Ireland.

Italy XV: Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari; Niccolo Cannone, Federico Ruzza; Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (capt.), Lorenzo Cannone; Stephen Varney, Paolo Garbisi; Pierre Bruno, Tommaso Menoncello, Juan Ignacio Brex, Edoardo Padovani; Tommaso Allan.

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Federico Zani, Marco Riccioni, Edoardo Iachizzi, Giovanni Pettinelli, Manuel Zuliani; Alessandro Fusco, Luca Morisi.

Six Nations 2023

13:02 , Jamie Braidwood

When is Italy vs Wales?

Wales take on Italy in Rome today, Saturday 11 March, at 2.15pm GMT.

How to watch on TV and online

Italy vs Wales will be broadcast live on free-to-air channels ITV, S4C and STV. To live-stream the game online, viewers can access the ITVX, S4C and STV websites and apps.

Six Nations 2023

12:17 , Luke Baker

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the 2023 Six Nations.

Round 4 delivers two fascinating matches to kick us off with Italy and Wales battling to avoid the wooden spoon in Rome before an England side with Marcus Smith at fly half host France at Twickenham.

Stick with us as we bring you all the action.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website