France v Italy LIVE: Six Nations 2024 result and reaction after visitors come agonisingly close to victory

Paolo Garbisi struck the post with a potential match-winning penalty as Italy narrowly missed out on a famous Six Nations victory over France in Lille.

With the scores level and the clock dead, Garbisi lined up a shot at goal from the left that would have given Gonzalo Quesada his first win as Italy boss.

But having been rushed into his attempt with the shot clock running down after the ball fell off his tee, Garbisi’s flighted effort curled against the right-hand post, rebounding away to ensure France held on for a 13-13 draw.

The hosts had been profligate in a first half they dominated but the game tilted after Jonathan Danty’s dismissal just before the interval.

The France centre was initially shown a yellow card for his head-on-head collision with Juan Ignacio Brex, but an upgrade to red on review in the TMO bunker gave Italy confidence that they could fight back to secure a significant win over the pre-tournament favourites.

Ange Capuozzo’s score in the corner and a fine Garbisi touchline conversion set up a shot at glory, but the fly half was denied by the woodwork as Italy came agonisingly close.

Relive all the Six Nations action below, plus get the latest odds and tips right here:

France vs Italy LIVE

  • Italy denied famous win by the woodwork as 14-man France secure draw

  • FULL TIME: France 13-13 Italy - Hosts cling on after Paolo Garbisi hits post with penalty

  • 71’ - TRY ITALY! Ange Capuozzo dives over to level the scores (France 13-13 Italy)

  • 41’ - Danty’s yellow card upgraded to RED as the second half begins

  • HT: France 10-3 Italy - Hosts struggle to build lead

  • TRY! FRANCE 7-0 Italy - Charles Ollivon tumbles over for opening score


Italy come close to an upset in France but have to settle for a draw

17:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy were within the width of a post of the biggest upset in Six Nations history as they drew 13-13 against 14-man France in Lille.

Paolo Garbisi had a last-gasp penalty attempt from 38 metres to register Italy’s first-ever Championship win in France.

But the ball toppled off its tee and, with just a few seconds left on the shot clock after it had been replaced, Garbisi rushed his kick and struck the right-hand post.

Italy come close to an upset in France but have to settle for a draw

And a gutted Paolo Garbisi is next in front of the ITV microphone

17:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“I was thinking about trusting my process, really. It was my job to put the kick over, so I take full responsibility for that. I’m sorry for the team, they were amazing today, and also to the Italian supporters - that’s my bad.

“I think the performance was good overall. If you get to 13-13 in the last minute against France, you’ve done pretty well. In the first half, we spent too much time in our half and weren’t great with possession. In the second half, we attacked more and found space.

“This is only the third match with a new coaching staff, and we are still learning what they want from us. But we cannot hide any more - we’ve showed that we can do pretty good things.”

France defence coach Shaun Edwards on the 13-13 draw

17:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“At the end of the game, we were probably overplaying a bit,” Edwards says to ITV. “One too many risks, and we gave a penalty away. Fortunately the guy missed the kick, but we are disappointed with a draw. We had all the ball in the first half, total domination in territory and possession. To concede 13 points is not to bad with 14 players, but we are very disappointed that we didn’t get the win.

“Obviously you want your team to score tries. We had a lot of pressure, but credit to the Italy defence. It was fantastic.

“I haven’t seen the red card incident properly. I’ll watch it. In the end, we’ve got to go with what the referee decides. He decided it was red card.

“I’ve been pretty happy with the defence the last two games, it wasn’t great against Ireland. Offensively, we need to create quicker ball at the ruck.”

Italy’s Ross Vintcent, who has been working for Domino’s in Exeter, gives his reaction to ITV

17:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It was gutting to see that hit the post,” the number eight says. “I don’t think it takes away from the performance the boys put in for 80 minutes. It was tough but we dug in, defended well and we can be proud of that performance, regardless of the result.

“We just said at half-time that we were blowing, but they were blowing just as hard. If we could stick in the fight and go to 80 minutes, we would have given ourselves a chance. It’s just a pity about the last kick.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be playing in front of this many people and wearing this badge. I’m not saying that my Domino’s shifts are over indefinitely, that’s for sure!

“The boys showed a lot of heart. There is something brewing here for sure, and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FT: France 13-13 Italy

17:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

As for France, it’s another damaging day. Jonathan Danty’s sending off left them up against it in the second half, but they really should have put the game out of sight before then. That profligacy inside the Italian 22 is so atypical - new attack coach Patrick Arlettaz has work to do. That’s three home games without a win now.

You wonder if Matthieu Jalibert’s tournament might be over, too. The fly half went off with a serious-looking knee injury in the first half - remember, France are already without Romain Ntamack.

FT: France 13-13 Italy

16:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

They’ll be disappointed not to have snatched victory but that’s a significant result for Italy as they continue their first campaign under Gonzalo Quesada. They defended superbly at times in the first half to prevent France building their lead, and that left them within striking distance after Jonathan Danty’s dismissal for that head-on-head collision with Juan Ignacio Brex. Here’s how close they came to victory:

FT: France 13-13 Italy

16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What drama. Agonisingly close to another famous win for Italy, the width of the post all that stood between Paolo Garbisi and another match-winning kick. He’d been forced to rush, the ball falling off his tee and the shot clock running down, but it looked nice in flight - late curl sent it slamming into the upright, though, and France hold on for a draw that will please no-one.


16:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)


16:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle


France 13-13 Italy, 80 minutes

16:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Any French infringement in this area would give Italy a shot at victory. Something of a stalemate, the hosts going nowhere, Italy not contesting heavily for fear of conceding territory. France can end it if they want, but play on with the clock dead.


France 13-13 Italy, 78 minutes

16:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty coming! France will have at least a chance at three. Or will they? Advante appears to be over as Lucchesi makes amends with an outstanding jackal turnover.

Two minutes left. Paolo Garbisi plays it cool, booting upfield...and just about avoiding kicking out on the full! France lineout possession inside their own half with Garbisi nary a foot away from a potentially costly error.

France 13-13 Italy, 77 minutes

16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A lineout misfire at the worst time! Gianmarco Lucchesi is a superb talent but he has struggled with his darts in this campaign, and he can’t connect with his jumper!

And Damian Penaud capitalises, a careening canter up the right touchline to move France within scoring range.

France 13-13 Italy, 75 minutes

16:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France can’t make anything of their attack, but Italy can’t quite escape again. Five minutes left - Italy’s scrum feed on their own ten-metre line. It’s tense.

What a scrum from Italy! Simone Ferrari and Mirco Spagnolo dismantle a seven-man French drive, with the hosts opting to send a back-rower out into midfield. Into France’s half they go.

France 13-13 Italy, 73 minutes

16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The home crowd lift the noise, knowing their side are in bother here. Leonardo Marin covers across brilliantly to collect a Damian Penaud chip, but he and Paolo Garbisi can’t extricate themselves - a knock-o and France’s scrum 30 metres out, wide on the right.

TRY! France 13-13 ITALY (Ange Capuozzo try, 70 minutes)

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Ange Capuozzo dives over in the corner!

Superb! That’s a sensational Italian score, Tommaso Menoncello with the intial bust from his own 22 and then outstanding composure shown deep in French territory. Gianmarco Lucchesi is an unlikely first receiver but the hooker shows off his considerable skillset, timing his pass nicely for replacement centre Leonardo Marin.

Marin slaps away Charles Ollivon and gets his arms free, alley-ooping over Damian Penaud’s attempted block for Capuozzo. A gleeful dive, and the conversion is there - the scores are level in Lille!

France 13-6 Italy, 69 minutes

16:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Brilliant from Italy! They attack that rejigged French midfield and cut it right up the centre, Stephen Varney arriving in support and keeping the movement going. Juan Ignacio Brex wins the gainline with his carry, too - into France’s 22 they go...

France 13-6 Italy, 68 minutes

16:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France maul up the right, making 20 metres but eventually running out of coal and stokes. The engine loses steam and it’ll be Italy’s scrum just inside their own 22.

France 13-6 Italy, 67 minutes

16:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty France! Mirco Spagnolo puts Dorian Aldegheri under pressure but can’t quite keep his feet as he tries to turn the screw.

France 13-6 Italy, 66 minutes

16:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nearly an intercept! Nolann Le Garrec is a shrewd defender and reads the play perfectly, stepping into the passing lane but not quite able to gather cleanly. The nippy scrum half might have gone the distance, you know...

Anyway, Italy’s scrum dead centre, 35 out. And a debut for France: Esteban Abadie has been excellent for Toulon this season and replaces club chum Charles Ollivon, whose early score is currently the difference between the two teams.

France 13-6 Italy, 65 minutes

16:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A final Italy front row change, and a return to action ahead-of-schedule for Simone Ferrari, who isn’t necessarily that close to full fitness but required with Gonzalo Quesada dealing with something of a tighthead crisis.

He’s stable at his first set-piece entanglement and France play up into Italy’s half, before turning the ball over.

France 13-6 Italy, 64 minutes

16:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy stress the edges of the French defence, first sweeping to the right, then curving to the left. Yoram Moefana’s hand blocks a pass, with the officialss satisfied that the replacement was committed to the tackle, and advantage is over by the time Federico Ruzza fumbles on the floor on the opposite touchline.

France 13-6 Italy, 62 minutes

16:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France are just starting to lose their discipline. An excellent carry from Michele Lamaro puts Italy on the front foot and Romain Taofifenua fails to roll away.

PENALTY! France 13-6 ITALY (Paolo Garbisi penalty, 61 minutes)

16:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

From bang in front, the new Toulon ten knocks through three points. It’s beautifully poised entering the final quarter.

France 13-3 Italy, 60 minutes

16:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And France are again penalised, Julien Marchand bumping into an Italian ruck and losing his feet. Paolo Garbisi will narrow the margin.

France 13-3 Italy, 59 minutes

16:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A scrum penalty to Italy! Dorian Aldegheri appears to have nudge on Mirco Spagnolo, but his angle is unsatisfactory to referee Christophe Ridley, who has had a decisive and rather decent debut with the whistle so far.

France 13-3 Italy, 58 minutes

16:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It feels like Italy are getting closer and closer to cracking France open. There’s space on the right for Tommaso Menoncello and Ange Capuozzo veers in that direction, but a forward pass ends the escapade.

France 13-3 Italy, 57 minutes

16:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two more Italian changes. Off go Danilo Fischetti and Giacomo Nicotera, who both settled in after a shaky start and made fine defensive contributions (a match-high 16 tackles for the hooker); on come Mirco Spagnolo and Gianmarco Lucchesi.

France 13-3 Italy, 55 minutes

16:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Almost! A clever chip from Thomas Ramos finds green grass beyond the Italian defensive line, and but for a bad bounce the ball might have been his. Ange Capuozzo just about gets there ahead of Nolann Le Garrec.

But here come France! Le Garrec lifts the tempo as Ramos and Yoram Moefana attack the line with purpose. A whistle...Italy’s way - Charles Ollivon in at the side and retreating with a rueful shake of the head.

France 13-3 Italy, 54 minutes

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Martin Page-Relo’s final involvement is a pressure-relieving thump out of his own 22. A good way to finish for the scrum half, who is replaced by Stephen Varney, but has put his hand up for thet starting shirt on a longer term basis.

France 13-3 Italy, 52 minutes

16:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France plough up the middle, Nolann Le Garrec’s slimmer figure darting through the craters left by a couple of colossal carriers ahead of him. The scrum half is tackled on the edge of the Italian 22, but Federico Ruzza intervenes, stripping the next Frenchman of his groceries. Italy’s scrum, with Ruzza reef unspotted and a knock-on the call.

Italy have defended impressively against France this afternoon (Getty Images)
Italy have defended impressively against France this afternoon (Getty Images)

France 13-3 Italy, 51 minutes

16:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Romain Taofifenua makes a more positive impact - the enormous veteran lock is an underrated breakdown operator, and forces a desperate Italian off their feet as he pokes his head in to contest.

France 13-3 Italy, 50 minutes

16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A few more changes - Manuel Zuliani is on in the Italy back row, while France swap in Nolann Le Garrec at scrum half, Julien Marchand at hooker and Alexandre Roumat on the flank.

Le Garrec’s first involvement isn’t ideal, slicing a box kick out on the full. The livewire young nine apologises to his teammates.

France 13-3 Italy, 48 minutes

16:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Almost! Were the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in-goals Murrayfield-sized, Tommaso Menoncello might have got to his hack ahead, but the shallow area beyond the tryline works against the Italy wing, who runs out of room to reel his kick in.

A double change for France, and a lovely moment for the Taofifenua family - brothers Sebastien and Romain replace Cyril Baille and Posolo Tuilagi, who had some very encouraging moments on his first start.

France 13-3 Italy, 46 minutes

16:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France do have Yoram Moefana to push into midfield, the Bordeaux comfortable operating alongside Gael Fickou. Italy look to attack the blindside wing, with France forced to leave it somewhat vacant, but a wide pass in the direction of Ricardo Favretto is too hot for the flanker to handle. It looked like Maxime Lucu had covered smartly, anyway.

PENALTY! FRANCE 13-3 Italy (Thomas Ramos penalty, 45 minutes)

16:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three more to Thomas Ramos’s tally. France have a ten-point buffer once more.

France 10-3 Italy, 44 minutes

16:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Lively attacking play from France, Matthis Lebel cutting cleverly between the bodies. Slow ball allows Italy to regather, but Federico Ruzza is caught with his big paws in the cookie jar. Penalty France, and Thomas Ramos will surely extend their lead...

France 10-3 Italy, 42 minutes

16:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wow. How that will boost Italy’s spirits as they look to overturn this half-time deficit. A fine kick from Martin Page-Relo into the corner forces Peato Mauvaka to throw a pressure lineout, but a pull on the arm of a French jumper in the air gives away a soft penalty.


16:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France will play the remainder of the game with 14 men - Jonathan Danty has been sent off!

“High level of danger, no mitigation”, says referee Christophe Ridley after the review in the TMO bunker. Can Italy capitalise?

The second half has begun.

Jonathan Danty red card: Why was France centre sent off against Ireland?

HT: France 10-3 Italy

16:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France, by the way, are already operating with their full-back at ten (though Thomas Ramos is perfectly comfortable at fly half), a replacement centre on the wing and Matthis Lebel, who yesterday morning thought he was playing for Toulouse tonight, playing his first international minutes at full-back. Italy will feel right in this with a strong start to the second 40.

HT: France 10-3 Italy

15:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

More than 100 tackles in that half from Italy - but it is a French hit that might yet tilt the game. Could Jonathan Danty’s yellow be upgraded to red?

HT: France 10-3 Italy

15:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s been one-way traffic, largely, in Lille, but a series of missed opportunities from the hosts leaves the sides separated by a single score. France will feel they should be much more than seven points in front, though some credit must go to Italy, whose last-ditch defence has been excellent.

HALF TIME: France 10-3 Italy

15:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

PENALTY! France 10-3 ITALY (Martin Page-Relo penalty, 45 minutes)

15:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Martin Page-Relo is on duty from the tee for Italy today, and that’s a handsome strike, curling inside the left-hand upright as Italy get on the board with the last action of the half.

YELLOW CARD! Jonathan Danty is sent to the sin bin! France 10-0 Italy, 43 minutes

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s yellow at least, and on review. There’s head-on-head contact between Danty and Brex, though it seems most of the force may have been through the chest. How will the foul play review official view that? He’ll have eight minutes to assess whether the sanction should be upgraded.

France 10-0 Italy, 41 minutes

15:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A mahoosive munching of Juan Ignacio Brex leaves the Italian centre inspecting the damage, Jonathan Danty the shooting French defender.

Brex is back on his feet and slicing into space soon enough, rangy in the open field and taken down on the fringes of the French 22. There might be some French foul play to look at, but onwards Italy go, a delightful pass out the back sending Federico Mori up the touchline. But Italy knock on, and that might be that.

Or is it? Danty’s tackle might have him in some bother...

France 10-0 Italy, 40 minutes

15:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two penalties against France give Italy a last chance to mount an attack before half-time, A long punt up beyond halfway - they’d love something to take down the tunnel.

France 10-0 Italy, 39 minutes

15:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But France keep snatching at these chances. Their forwards carry them to within a metre, Paul Boudehent and Francois Cros going awfully close, but in their eagerness to spread the ball wide they keep running into bother. Gael Fickou is taken behind the gainline, but keeps the ball alive with a pop off the floor, though Thomas Ramos’s wide pass leaves Damian Penaud with no option but to slap the ball back into play, and Matthis Lebel knocks on.

Six visits to the Italian 22, one French try. Profligate.

France 10-0 Italy, 36 minutes

15:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Posolo Tuilagi! A first glimpse of the man they call The Lorry on open motorway, and boy can he move! A lovely offload sends Charles Ollivon on, but Tuilagi’s attempts to bash over on the follow-up ends with him held up.

France have a penalty, though, which Thomas Ramos boots to touch. And that’s because Matthieu Jalibert is being helped off. Oh no! He can’t even bear any weight, and you fear that could be a serious one for the Bordeaux Begles pivot, who suffered a serious knee injury on France debut in 2018.

Moefana is introduced as France try to launch an offensive from five metres out.

France 10-0 Italy, 35 minutes

15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Yoram Moefana strips off in case he is needed, but it appears Jalibert will continue for now. Were he replaced, you’d imagine it would be Thomas Ramos to ten, Matthis Lebel to full-back and Moefana on to the wing - France will rather hope that their fly half can run it off.

France 10-0 Italy, 35 minutes

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s more like it from the Italian defence, though, Damian Penaud and Matthieu Jalibert each bursting into space but cut down quickly enough. Charles Ollivon is taken in a fine low tackle by Martin Page-Relo, biting the ankles like an unruly terrier, and Italy pounce on the ball as it spills free from the base of the breakdown.

Oh dear. It appears Jalibert has suffered a sore one, a low, late tackle leaving him needing treatment on a knee.

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(Getty Images)

France 10-0 Italy, 33 minutes

15:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There have been some pretty solid parts of this Italian performance, but they’ve not been accurate enough at all. They’ve been eager to get after the French breakdown, but need to pick their moments better, Juan Ignacio Brex clearly off his feet as he over-balances attempting to contest. France advance through Jalibert’s right boot.

France 10-0 Italy, 31 minutes

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A free kick at the lineout and Italy play fast, tapping quickly and going off on an explore. Space appears briefly but inaccurate handling sees the ball hit the deck, and Thomas Ramos’s raking right-footed punt ensures Italy are turned.

Another long Italy clearance and Matthieu Jalibert comes charging back, taking a huge hit from Tommaso Menoncello as he connects with Matthis Lebel. Jalibert is out of the game for the moment so Thomas Ramos steps in as lead playmaker, a role he is perfectly comfortable in, whipping a delectable pass out to Damian Penaud.

Penaud goes to his favoured chip and chase to try and best the last defender, but skews it away off the outside of his right boot. A slap of the hands in frustration - not quite the required technique.

France 10-0 Italy, 30 minutes

15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Italy will clear fully from a scrum penalty. Cyril Baille loses his footing and has no complaints with Christophe Ridley’s decision.

France 10-0 Italy, 29 minutes

15:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Posolo Tuilagi hits a dynamite line and detonates a tackler or two. Uini Atonio also shows off some nifty footwork.

Pressure building. Jonathan Danty is grasped well. Italy spread to the right...agh! Not for the first time today, a little careless from Matthieu Jalibert, a flick from Peato Mauvaka eminently catchable but slipping through his fingers as the France fly half focusses overly on the approaching Italians in front of him. Italy survive.

France 10-0 Italy, 28 minutes

15:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Much better from the Italian pack, holding their ground against the might of the French eight. But that’s rather less pretty - turnover ball ten metres out from their own line and France have an attacking chance...

France 10-0 Italy, 26 minutes

15:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Damian Penaud gets on the ball twice in the movement, but is squeezed out on the right and then taken at the ankles as he tries to loop off his wing in the 13 channel a couple of phases later.

Matthieu Jalibert turns the Italian defence, who claim but fail to clear, a horrible kick ending up in Charles Ollivon’s bread basket. Ollivon hops on his bicycle and tries to find Matthis Lebel in space, but a timely Italian hand forces an errant pass and Lebel can’t scoop it up off the deck.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

France 10-0 Italy, 24 minutes

15:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France are told to play away, and Maxime Lucu obliges, Jonathan Danty on the hard, straight line into Paolo Garbisi, who gets in the way effectively. France reload, Atonio make metres on the charge, but that’s loose from Matthieu Jalibert - Paul Boudehent is a fine athlete and might have been favourite for a better chip across to the right touchline, but Jalibert’s sand wedge is over-flighted. There looked to be a four-on-one, too - surely putting it through the hands was a better option?

France 10-0 Italy, 22 minutes

15:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France claim the lineout and utilise their heavy artillery, Posolo Tuilagi coming crunching around the corner. Italy infringe, failing to vacate a ruck, but regather themselves well, putting in good shots on Tuilagi and then Atonio.

France opt for a scrum from the penalty having run aground. Seven metres out, left of centre.

France 10-0 Italy, 20 minutes

15:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another scrum penalty France’s way, Giosue Zilocchi deemed to have lost his bind and caused instability on engagement. That scrum dominance helped set up this opening score:

France 10-0 Italy, 19 minutes

15:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bish bash bosh! The mighty Uini Atonio is deployed as a midfield carrier and nearly knocks Paolo Garbisi over the Belgian border!

Fair play to Garbisi, who clings on to a shoulder and, after a gain of about five metres, does bring the prop down. France kick away possession, but their power game is working.

France 10-0 Italy, 17 minutes

15:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy opt not to maul, a wide pass from Martin Page-Relo to Juan Ignacio Brex, and then Federico Mori on the charge. Tommaso Menoncello tries to keep the tempo up, picking and driving having gone in search of work off his wing, but he’s all on his lonesome, and France feast on the breakdown carrion.

Jonathan Danty the jackaler - good work from the centre, who is excellent over the ball. His centre partner Gael Fickou receives a bit of treatment but is ok to continue and joins the rest of the French backs up near the ten-metre line, where France will throw their lineout.

France 10-0 Italy, 16 minutes

15:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nice stuff from Italy, feigning a maul and then playing away through Giacomo Nicotera, the hooker niftily flicking back on the inside for Martin Page-Relo.

The French-born scrum half beats a couple of defenders and is then taken high. Penalty Italy - will they take the points? Nope, the corner is the call, Paolo Garbisi (who spent the fallow week moving to Toulon from Montpellier somewhat against his will) finding the five-metre line.

PENALTY! FRANCE 10-0 Italy (Thomas Ramos penalty, 15 minutes)

15:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Thomas Ramos knocks it over from wide on the left.

France 7-0 Italy, 14 minutes

15:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Yikes. That’s the mismatch we feared, Uini Atonio and Posolo Tuilagi’s combined shove far too strong for the left side of an imploding Italian scrum. Penalty France...

France 7-0 Italy, 12 minutes

15:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France cut Italy open! Lovely handling on halfway and Matthieu Jalibert cuts through, taking Posolo Tuilagi’s sharp pass at the line. Gael Fickou is there on the outside, can he connect with a teammate? Nope, a dummy from the centre, cut down ten metres out.

Wide to the left, with numbers waiting...but that’s a poor pass, too far in front of Peato Mauvaka who can’t gather on the stoop. A chance missed for France, but another reminder of their attacking threat.

France 7-0 Italy, 10 minutes

15:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Good from Italy on the chase, Ross Vintcent stripping, Tommaso Menoncello collecting, and a chance to attack on halfway. Federico Mori takes the direct route, but the subsequent attempts to explore something more adventurous come to nought. A long kick through is grounded in-goal by Thomas Ramos.

France 7-0 Italy, 9 minutes

15:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There was real purpose about the way France went at the Italian fringe defence there. Ireland got some joy playing tight to the ruck two weeks ago, and you do fear that the visitors are lacking a bit of close-in punch.

France turn Italian ball over about 40 metres out, and flip the field with a drilled grubber. Ange Capuozzo gets back to collect but is blanketed by the French chase. Martin Page-Relo hooks a clearance upfield.

TRY! FRANCE 7-0 Italy (Charles Ollivon try, 7 minutes)

15:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No clear knock-on - the try is given!

Italy may feel aggrieved but there was no clear angle that showed Charles Ollivon losing complete control, and TMO Ian Tempest is happy to uphold the on-field decision. France’s stand-in captain gets them on the board, and it’s a simple start for Thomas Ramos from the tee.

Try? France 0-0 Italy, 7 minutes

15:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pace and power around the fringes from the French loose forwards, Paul Boudehent and Charles Ollivon prominent. And has the openside got the ball down as he darts from two metres out?

Christophe Ridley’s on-field decision is a try, but there’s a suspicion of a knock-on as he gathers...

France 0-0 Italy, 6 minutes

15:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

They cannot - advantage coming, at the very least...

France 0-0 Italy, 5 minutes

15:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A missed connection in the transfer to Cyril Baille means France can’t make much progress, but there’s an Italian hand involved, and it’ll by Maxime Lucu’s scrum to feed.

About 100kg differential in the pack weights - can Italy hold firm against this gargantuan French unit?

France 0-0 Italy, 4 minutes

15:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cameron Woki claims France’s first lineout of the afternoon, and the maul goes to work, making metres quickly and drawing advantage.

Out to the backs, and Matthieu Jalibert, who slightly curiously tries to prod for the corner. Out of play it trickles, and back we will come for that maul penalty.

Jalibert fancies giving his powerful pack another go - he kicks into the Italy 22.

France 0-0 Italy, 3 minutes

15:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Giacomo Nicotera hits his first jumper after Paolo Garbisi finds touch, and Italy go on the attack. Federico Mori has been in fine form for Bayonne in the Basque Country this season and makes an enterprising first carry, but Giosue Zilocchi is isolated as he rumbles up the middle, with Francois Cros there to capitalise with a jackal. Penalty France, and a good start defensively from the hosts.

France 0-0 Italy, 1 minute

15:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France move the ball immediately after Italy clear the kick off long, but Matthis Lebel has to wait to take a wide pass and is driven back in the tackle by Tommaso Menoncello, pushed out to the wing today. Italy soon win a breakdown penalty.


15:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The last of the smoke clears from pitch level as Matthieu Jalibert waits to get us underway. Italy ready for the catch, lock Niccolo Cannone prepared to be hoisted.

Debutant referee Christophe Ridley blows his whistle, Jalibert hoists - France vs Italy has begun!


14:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Plenty of emotion on the faces of the Italian squad as the camera pans, Danilo Fischetti and Michele Lamaro roaring out the final notes, as is custom.

La Marseillaise is properly punchy, the brothers Taofifenua providing a bit of extra volume from the far end of the French line.

Right, time for action.

France vs Italy

14:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cyril Baille and Romain Taofifenua lead France out under the Lille roof, each winning a 50th cap this afternoon. Given the roof is shut, the smoke from some tricolore fireworks may take a little bit of time to clear, but the atmosphere sounds excellent, and there’s not an empty seat in sight.

France vs Italy: Match officials

14:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Match officials for France vs Italy, Sunday 25 February (3pm GMT, Lille)

Referee: Christophe Ridley (Eng)

Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (Eng) & Craig Evans (Wal)

TMO: Ian Tempest (Eng)

France v Italy referee: Who is Six Nations official Christophe Ridley?

Gonzalo Quesada speaks to ITV ahead of kick off

14:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s a huge challenge again. Second game in Irealnd, third game in France is a nice start...

“But we’ve worked well during the week. We’ve had only a good half against England this tournament, and we played with some good heart against Ireland. Hopefully today we see more of what we started to do in the first half against England.

“A lot of our changes are due to injuries, we have so many props that aren’t here. I’d love to have more continuity, but the changes are to have some balance and some experience on the bench. Hopefully today we won’t have more injuries and some guys recover next week.”

France vs Italy

14:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy’s scrum and lineout really wobbled against Ireland, which perhaps explains Gonzalo Quesada and Giosue Zilocchi being brought into their front row today. But you do worry about how they will combat the power on the tighthead side of the French scrum - Danilo Fischetti is an excellent operator in so many ways but is somewhat slight for a prop, and the combination of Uini Atonio, Posolo Tuilagi and Charles Ollivon is super-sized. Italy’s pack will have to muscle up to have a chance, you’d say.

France defence coach Shaun Edwards offers his pre-match thoughts to ITV

14:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“We have a roof here, so the conditions are totally different to what they were in Scotland. We are going to have to adapt our tactics to that. It’s more suited to running rugby, but we have selected a big pack. That big pack is there to do a job in the first half and hopefully the backs can do their job in the second half.

“As regards to the [new] coaching staff, we have to gel first, and I think we are doing a pretty good job of doing that. We felt we had momentum after the Scotland game, a very difficult fixture away from home, and now we have momentum there and need to continue.

On Posolo Tuilagi, who makes a first start: “Hopefully he can create some go forward with the ball and stop the go forward when they’ve got the ball. It’s a pretty simple job! There’s other complexities to it, but that’s primarily his job. Italy are a team that never give in, they are fit and mobile.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Can Italy repeat their age group heroics?

14:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s already been one significant victory for Italy over France this weekend, with their Under-20s getting a first ever victory over their neighbours at that level on Friday night. The Italian scrum was simply sensational, marmalising an admittedly slightly under-strength French eight, while wing Marco Scalabrin looks quite the prospect.

And how better to celebrate a breakthrough victory than with some Puccini? Impressive stuff from replacement tighthead Davide Ascari, who has got some serious pipes.

Italy team news

14:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No late scares for Italy, with the 23 named on Friday intact for kick off. Gonzalo Quesada shuffles his pack after a bruising trip to Dublin that saw Italy fail to register: Federico Mori starts at inside centre with Tommaso Menoncello shifted out to the wing, while Martin Page-Relo replaces Stephen Varney at scrum half with the Italy coach keen to assess his options at nine.

Riccardo Favretto will win his second international cap three years on from his first in a new-look back row, with the uncapped Matteo Canali among Italy’s own six-strong bench forward unit.

Italy XV: 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 3 Giosue Zilocchi; 4 Niccolo Cannone, 5 Federico Ruzza; 6 Riccardo Favretto, 7 Michele Lamaro (capt.), 8 Ross Vintcent; 9 Martin Page-Relo, 10 Paolo Garbisi; 11 Monty Ioane, 12 Federico Mori, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 14 Tommaso Menoncello; 15 Ange Capuozzo.

Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Matteo Canali, 20 Andrea Zambonin, 21 Manuel Zuliani; 22 Stephen Varney, 23 Leonardo Marin.

France team news

14:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fabien Galthie hands teenage lock Posolo Tuilagi his first start in the French pack, with Paul Boudehent brought into the back row after injury to Gregory Alldritt. Charles Ollivon captains in Alldritt’s absence with Francois Cros sliding across to No 8, while potential debutant Esteban Abadie is one of six forwards on the bench.

Louis Bielle-Biarrey’s neck injury was a bit of a spanner in the French works on match eve - Matthis Lebel had been due to start for Toulouse at full-back tonight, but has been whistled up to the north and comes straight into the starting side.

France XV: 1 Cyrill Baille, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 3 Uini Atonio; 4 Cameron Woki, 5 Posolo Tuilagi; 6 Paul Boudehent, 7 Charles Ollivon (capt.), 8 Francois Cros; 9 Maxime Lucu, 10 Matthieu Jalibert; 11 Matthis Lebel, 12 Jonathan Danty, 13 Gael Fickou, 14 Damian Penaud; 15 Thomas Ramos.

Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Alexandre Roumat, 21 Esteban Abadie; 22 Nolann Le Garrec, 23 Yoram Moefana.

France vs Italy

14:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We are, of course, in Lille today, with France continuing their Six Nations roadshow with the Stade de France out of action ahead of this summer’s Olympic festivities. Uruguay gave Les Bleus one hell of a scare at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy during the World Cup, but I’d expect a slightly livelier atmosphere this afternoon.

Let’s take a closer look at the two teams.

Pre-match thoughts from Italy head coach Gonzalo Quesada:

14:06 , Mike Jones

“Every game is a new opportunity to continue on the path of growth. We know how the last match went and it was useful to work on certain areas of the game.

“We want to show the best version of ourselves. We have heart, character and determination. All these characteristics must be put on the field against a team that is tactically and physically strong.”

Pre-match thoughts from France head coach Fabien Galthie:

14:00 , Mike Jones

“When you compete in the Six Nations, it’s like a 400m race, you start by sprinting and you have to accelerate at each turn.

“We want to play better and specifically defend better. Playing better also means without the ball. We need to be more disciplined. We must first be strong on the basics: solidarity, commitment and courage.”

Who is Six Nations official Christophe Ridley?

13:51 , Mike Jones

Christophe Ridley will make his Six Nations debut after being appointed to referee the round three clash between France and Italy.

The talented young Englishman joins the officiating panel as a lead official after the retirement of Wayne Barnes, having worked closely with his compatriot during his career so far.

A former member of the academy at Leicester Tigers, Ridley switched to refereeing after a series of injuries and has developed quickly through the ranks after studying at the University of Gloucestershire.

Students on the sports scholarship programme at the university benefit from the expertise of three-time World Cup official Chris White, who helped both Ridley and fellow top official Matthew Carley develop.

Ridley’s Premiership debut came in 2018, taking charge of London Irish vs Wasps, and the 30-year-old travelled to last year’s World Cup as an assistant.

His Six Nations debut comes as one of four English referees appointed to games in the championship, with Carley, Karl Dickson and Luke Pearce all earning selection again.

Steve Borthwick describes England’s defeat to Scotland as ‘real painful lesson’

13:43 , Mike Jones

Frustrated Steve Borthwick felt his work-in-progress England team were taught “a real painful lesson” by a Duhan Van Der Merwe-inspired Scotland after the Red Rose crashed to a fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup defeat at Murrayfield.

The visitors arrived in Edinburgh hoping to make it three Guinness Six Nations victories in a row, but after a bright start in which a George Furbank try helped them carve a 10-0 lead in the opening quarter of an hour.

However, they lost their way and were put to the sword by their clinical hosts who ran out 30-21 winners.

Steve Borthwick describes England’s defeat to Scotland as ‘real painful lesson’

England heading in right direction overall under Steve Borthwick – Jamie George

13:31 , Mike Jones

Jamie George conceded England were “not good enough” in their Calcutta Cup defeat to Scotland but the captain remained adamant they were heading in the right direction overall under Steve Borthwick.

The Red Rose lost 30-21 at Murrayfield on Saturday, bringing to an end their unbeaten start to this year’s Guinness Six Nations campaign after narrow wins away to Italy and at home to Wales.

England had arrived in Edinburgh having won eight of their previous nine matches, with their only setback in that run being the agonising World Cup semi-final defeat by eventual winners South Africa in October.

England heading in right direction overall under Steve Borthwick – Jamie George

France ready to take on Italy

13:22 , Luke Baker

France had their captain’s run in Lille on Friday and are ready to go for today’s clash

What are smart mouthguards and how are they being used in the Six Nations?

13:05 , Luke Baker

Round two of the Six Nations featured a historic moment as Scotland hooker George Turner became the first player in the championship’s history to be removed after his smart mouthguard detected a collision which could have caused a concussion.

Turner was removed from the pitch during the first half of Scotland’s defeat to France for a head injury assessment after his mouthguard alerted medical staff of a significant head acceleration event after a tackle made on Charles Ollivon. The front rower passed his assessment and returned to the field.

The mouthguards, also known as gumshields, have been incorporated into the existing HIA protocols as another tool designed to support the drive towards better player welfare with a particular focus on brain injuries.

What are smart mouthguards and how are they being used in the Six Nations?

Wales boss Warren Gatland backs Ireland for grand slam glory

12:45 , Luke Baker

Wales boss Warren Gatland backed Ireland to clinch back-to-back grand slam titles after his side suffered a 31-7 Six Nations defeat in Dublin.

Tries from Dan Sheehan, James Lowe, Ciaran Frawley and Tadhg Beirne kept Andy Farrell’s reigning champions on course to become the first team to achieve the feat in the Six Nations era.

Ireland travel to Twickenham to take on England on March 9 before hosting Scotland on the final weekend of the tournament. Gatland, who led Wales to three grand slams during his first spell in charge, believes Ireland’s ominous march towards another clean sweep will be difficult to stop.

“I think they’re definitely capable of doing it,” he said. “They’ve got the experience and the composure and players who can carry and get them on the front foot.

“I think they will be a hard team to knock over.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Gonzalo Quesada urges Italy to impose their ideas on France

12:25 , Luke Baker

Italy head coach Gonzalo Quesada has shuffled the pack for the France clash as inside centre Federico Mori returns to the XV for the first time in nearly two years and scrum-half Martin Page-Relo makes his first Six Nations start.

Zebre second-rower Matteo Canali could make his debut from the bench, while Ross Vintcent and Riccardo Favretto are also handed their first Azzurri starts and Quesada is hoping Italy can “impose” their ideas.

He told the Italian Rugby Federation website: “I didn’t count how many changes I made in the line-up compared to the Ireland match. We are adapting to Sunday’s game and dealing with some injuries.

“The group is the same one that worked for three weeks together. I’m working hard to give maximum opportunities to the players we feel are ready - let’s try to maintain our commitment.

“France will want to bring a lot of physicality but we have to play our game and impose our game ideas.”

It’s been a tough start to life as Italy coach for Gonzalo Quesada (AFP via Getty Images)
It’s been a tough start to life as Italy coach for Gonzalo Quesada (AFP via Getty Images)

France backing Posolo Tuilagi to bring energy against Italy

12:05 , Luke Baker

France assistant coach Laurent Sempere has praised Posolo Tuilagi for his energy as the lock prepares to make his first start for Les Bleus against Italy in the Six Nations.

The 19-year-old has been named in the starting XV for the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.

After losing their opening game to Ireland, France bounced back with a dramatic victory against Scotland at Murrayfield, leaving them fourth in the table ahead of the third round of matches.

Tuilagi has featured from the bench in both games so far and co-coach Sempere was full of praise for the teenager.

He told the French Rugby Federation website: “Posolo is one of the players who brought a lot of energy at the end of the match in Scotland, which he had already done when he came on against Ireland.

“Today we decided that he should start the game against Italy. It was his performances during training with us, and at each of his appearances, that ensured that he won this starter jersey.”


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

Steve Borthwick describes England’s defeat to Scotland as ‘real painful lesson’

11:25 , Luke Baker

Frustrated Steve Borthwick felt his work-in-progress England team were taught “a real painful lesson” by a Duhan Van Der Merwe-inspired Scotland after the Red Rose crashed to a fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup defeat at Murrayfield.

The visitors arrived in Edinburgh hoping to make it three Six Nations victories in a row and they made a bright start in which a George Furbank try helped them carve a 10-0 lead in the opening quarter of an hour. However, they lost their way and were put to the sword by their clinical hosts who ran out 30-21 winners.

Van Der Merwe – who scored a double in the Scots’ win at Twickenham last year – was again England’s tormentor-in-chief as he became the first man in a dark blue jersey to score a Calcutta Cup hat-trick.

“After a defeat and performance when you don’t think you’ve maximised your potential, it’s always disappointment,” said head coach Borthwick. “I don’t think the team maximised their potential today.

“When you make that number of handling errors at this level, it’s very difficult to win, especially against a team of Scotland’s quality. Ultimately we made it too easy for Scotland to score, but they were very clinical. It’s a huge lesson for our team as we develop. The number of turnovers made it very difficult to win.”

Duhan van der Merwe ran England ragged (Getty Images)
Duhan van der Merwe ran England ragged (Getty Images)

Duhan van der Merwe and Scotland make Calcutta Cup history to leave England with tough questions

11:05 , Luke Baker

Magnificent Duhan van der Merwe became the first player to score a Calcutta Cup hat-trick for Scotland rugby as they soared to their fourth consecutive victory over England rugby in an intoxicating Six Nations showdown in Edinburgh.

The jet-heeled wing – who scored a stunning double at Twickenham just over 12 months ago – had the home crowd in raptures as he produced a Murrayfield masterclass to inspire his team to a 30-21 victory and move to within one of Scotland’s all-time record try-scorer Stuart Hogg.

England started brightly and opened up an early 10-0 lead, with George Furbank scoring his first international try, but Steve Borthwick’s men offered little thereafter as their unbeaten start to the championship shuddered to a halt.

Remarkably, they have now won only one of the last seven meetings with Scotland.

Scotland make Calcutta Cup history to leave England with tough questions

Who is Posolo Tuilagi? Manu’s massive nephew set to make first France start in Six Nations

10:45 , Luke Baker

Brace yourselves – another Tuilagi has arrived. For 25 years, they’ve been the fearsome first family of Samoan rugby, brothers Freddie, Henry, Alesana, Anitelea and Sanele Vavae all representing their home nation; Manu becoming an England star.

Now it is time to meet the next generation. Having made a couple of appearances off the bench in this Six Nations, Posolo Tuilagi will make his first France start against Italy in Lille, the hulking lock considered a rising star. Still a teenager, Posolo remains eligible for France’s Under 20s, but has already featured prominently in two Top 14 seasons for Perpignan, the club at which father Henry ended his professional playing career.

Born in Samoa, Posolo has been in France since he was three and made his professional debut for Les Sang et Or in September 2022. Weighing nearly 150kg, his stature made him an immediate stand-out, but Tuilagi combines his natural size advantage with the skill that has powered him into the international picture so soon.

Learn more about France’s newest star:

Who is Posolo Tuilagi? Manu’s massive nephew set to make first France start

Six Nations 2024 pundits and commentators for ITV and BBC

10:25 , Luke Baker

The Six Nations is set to return to television screens, with the BBC and ITV again sharing coverage of the annual championship.

The two terrestrial broadcasters’ combined deal runs until the end of the 2025 edition.

A number of familiar faces will provide expert insight and analysis across the Six Nations campaign, along with some key new additions.

ITV stalwart Sir Clive Woodward, meanwhile, announced ahead of the start of the tournament that he would no longer feature as the 2003 World Cup-winning coach elects to focus on other business pursuits.

Here is who you can expect to see and hear throughout the Six Nations.

Six Nations 2024 pundits and commentators for ITV and BBC

Six Nations 2024 schedule in full: Fixtures, kick-off times and results

10:05 , Luke Baker

Round 1

France 17-38 Ireland (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

Italy 24-27 England (Stadio Olimpico, Rome)

Wales 26-27 Scotland (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)

Round 2

Scotland 16-20 France (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)

England 16-14 Wales (Twickenham, London)

Ireland 36-0 Italy (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)

Round 3

Ireland 31-7 Wales (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)

Scotland 30-21 England (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)

France vs Italy (Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille) - Sunday 25 February, 3pm GMT

Round 4

Italy vs Scotland (Stadio Olimpico, Rome) - Saturday 9 March, 2.15pm GMT

England vs Ireland (Twickenham, London) - Saturday 9 March, 4.45pm GMT

Wales vs France (Principality Stadium, Cardiff) - Sunday 10 March, 3pm GMT

Round 5

Wales vs Italy (Principality Stadium, Cardiff) - Saturday 16 March, 2.15pm GMT

Ireland vs Scotland (Aviva Stadium, Dublin) - Saturday 16 March, 4.45pm GMT

France vs England (Groupama Stadium, Lyon) - Saturday 16 March, 8pm GMT

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