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France v Italy, Six Nations 2024: Kick-off time, how to watch today and team news

Posolo Tuilagi
Samoan-born 19-year-old lock Posolo Tuilagi, who weighs nearly 150kg, will start for France - Action Images/Lee Smith

France need a statement victory or the wheels are in danger of falling off their Six Nations campaign entirely. A stuffing against Ireland in round one had the caveat of playing 50 minutes with 14 men after Paul Willemse’s red card. But to scrape past Scotland in round two – and only win off the back of a controversial no-try call by the TMO at the death – has piled the pressure on Les Bleus.

The French have won their past 14 matches against Italy and the Azzuri last beat Les Blues in Rome in 2013 and have not won in France since 1997.

But Italy are no longer the push-overs they once were. Yes, Ireland taught them a lesson in Dublin, but this is an Ireland team that looks a class above the rest. The Azzurri will fancy their chances.

When is France v Italy?

France and Italy meet today. The match kicks off at 3pm (GMT).

Where is France v Italy taking place?

Decathlon Arena – Stade Pierre Mauroy, in Lille.

How to watch France v Italy on TV

The match will be broadcast live on ITV.

Who is the referee?

Christophe Ridley (Eng). Telegraph Sport has published a full guide to all the referees at this year’s tournament.

What is the latest team news?

France

France have named 19-year-old lock Posolo Tuilagi in their starting line-up for the first time and confirmed Charles Ollivon as captain.

Tuilagi, who weighs nearly 150kg, came off the bench in France’s opening two matches of this year’s championship, but now partners Cameron Woki in the second row.

He is one of two changes by coach Fabien Galthie to the French side that edged Scotland in a controversial 20-16 win at Murrayfield almost two weeks ago.

Born in Samoa, Tuilagi has been in France since he was three and is the son of Henry Tuilagi, who won 10 caps for Samoa between 2002 and 2009 and played for Perpignan for eight years.

Tuilagi was not selected in France’s initial Six Nations squad, but a series of injuries and suspensions have seen him get his chance. He takes the place of Paul Gabrillagues.

Tuilagi is the latest international to emerge from a Samoan family with a rich rugby heritage. His father and four uncles played Test rugby for the Pacific island, while another uncle, Manu, represents England and the British & Irish Lions.

Ollivon takes over the leadership from Gregory Alldritt, who suffered a cut to his left thigh against the Scots and sits out.

Alldritt’s absence also means a reshuffle in the back row as Francois Cross moves to No 8 and Paul Boudehent comes in on the side of the pack.

Lock Romain Taofifenua returns from illness as a substitute.

France XV: Ramos; Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Bielle-Biarrey, Jalibert, Lucu; Baille, Mauvaka, Atonio, Woki, Tuilagi, Boudehent, Ollivon (capt), Cros.

Replacements: Marchand, Taofifenua, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Roumat, Abadie, Le Garrec, Moefana.


Italy

Italy make six changes with Ross Vintcent and Riccardo Favretto set for their first starts.

Elsewhere, Giosue Zilocchi and Giacomo Nicotera come in at the front of the pack, Martin Page-Relo is preferred at scrum-half and Federico Mori starts at centre.

Zebre lock Matteo Canali could become Italy’s latest debutant for the bench, while uncapped Toulon flanker Esteban Abadie is among the France replacements.

Italy coach Gonzalo Quesada said: “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.”

Italy: Capuozzo; Menoncello, Brex, Mori, Ioane, Garbisi, Page-Relo; Fischetti, Nicotera, Zilocchi, Cannone, Ruzza, Favretto, Lamaro (capt), Vintcent.

Replacements: Lucchesi, Spagnolo, Ferrari, Canali, Zambonin, Zuliani, Varney, Marin.

What are the current standings?

When did France and Italy last win the Six Nations?

France were last crowned champions in 2022, when they also claimed the Grand Slam.

Italy have never won the title. Since joining the competition in 2000, they have picked up 18 wooden spoons.

What was the score last year?

Italy 24 France 29: France were hanging on at the end after narrowly avoiding a shock defeat at the Stadio Olimpico.

What are the latest odds?

  • France to win: 1/33

  • Italy to win: 25/1

  • Draw: 100/1

Odds correct as of February 23

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