Ireland v Italy LIVE: Six Nations 2024 score and result as hosts secure comfortable second win

Ireland continued their pursuit of back-to-back Six Nations grand slams as they swept aside Italy in Dublin.

A much-changed home side retained plenty of its usual fluency, with Jack Crowley again pulling the strings impressively from fly half in a 36-0 win, crossing for his first try in senior rugby to lead the hosts to a 17th straight Aviva Stadium victory.

Consecutive bonus points victories leave Andy Farrell’s men top of the table after two rounds, two points clear of England, while an outstanding defensive display meant Ireland kept an opponent scoreless in this competition for the first time since 1987.

For Italy, it was a disappointing follow-up to an encouraging start against England, a flat performance leaving Gonzalo Quesada to lament his side’s set-piece struggles and lack of intensity in defence as the Azzurri failed to trouble the scores.

Re-live all the action from Ireland vs Italy below, and get the latest Six Nations odds and tips here:

Ireland vs Italy LIVE: Latest Six Nations updates

  • Ireland host Italy in the Six Nations, live on ITV1

  • Ireland team news: Caelan Doris set to captain for the first time in much-changed line-up

  • Italy team news: Ange Capuozzo returns but two key forwards out due to injury

  • TRY! IRELAND 36-0 Italy (Calvin Nash try, 78 minutes)

  • TRY! IRELAND 29-0 Italy (James Lowe try, 62 minutes)

  • TRY! IRELAND 24-0 Italy (Dan Sheehan try, 50 minutes)

  • TRY! IRELAND 19-0 Italy (Jack Conan try, 38 minutes)

  • TRY! IRELAND 12-0 Italy (Dan Sheehan try, 24 minutes)

  • TRY! IRELAND 5-0 Italy (Jack Crowley try, 8 minutes)

Jack Crowley opens international account as Ireland ease to win against Italy

17:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Crowley claimed an overdue first senior try as Ireland continued their Guinness Six Nations title defence with a resounding 36-0 bonus-point win over Italy in Dublin.

The fly-half, who is tasked with filling the void left by retired number 10 Johnny Sexton, has gone 45 appearances for Munster without touching down.

He opened his international account inside seven minutes of his 11th Test to help the reigning champions back up a crushing opening weekend demolition of pre-tournament favourites France.

Dan Sheehan registered two of Ireland’s five further tries to take his tournament tally to three, while Jack Conan, man of the match James Lowe and Calvin Nash were also on the scoresheet for a team captained by Caelan Doris.

Ireland’s display could certainly have been more ruthless but it was more than enough to dispatch the championship’s perennial wooden spoon winners and secure a 17th successive home win.

Jack Crowley opens international account as Ireland ease to win against Italy

Gonzalo Quesada speaks to ITV after Italy’s defeat

17:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“There’s not a lot to keep from this game. First half, we were too passive in defence, we let them take the momentum. It was too easy to win yards and get into the gameplan. In the second half, we improved a bit, but then we had nothing. Either we didn’t have the ball to attack, or it was poor quality.

“We knew that we were playing one of the best teams in the world and they were going to put us under pressure. But we struggled to take onto the pitch what we did in the week, and we lost a bit of belief in key moments. They never stopped fighting, but we need to improve our set piece and the defence. But without the ball, it’s going to be tough for us.”

Andy Farrell on Ireland’s win

17:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“We are happy enough,” the Ireland head coach says to ITV. “We got what we wanted out of the game, a bonus point win, and keeping them to zero is very pleasing. Some nice performances from individuals. They are tricky enough to play against - they are a little bit more pragmatic so you’ve got to find other ways of getting the ball back.

“I thought we were trying to be a bit too tidy at times. We need to back ourselves a bit more. I think our scrum was man of the match, to be fair - that was a lovely weapon, and we backed up our lineout effort from last week as well.

“It’s good that the whole squad is up and running. But the competition only gets going from here on in.”

Ireland keep Italy scoreless and march on with second Six Nations win

16:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland were good, but that was a step back for Italy. Gonzalo Quesada mentioned a need to match Ireland at the set piece before the game, and his side just never had a hope with how far short they were at both the scrum and lineout. Their ruck work was short of par, too - if you can’t slow Ireland down in phase play, you can’t stop them.

Plenty to think about for Quesada, whose still figuring out his best side as he begins life as Italy coach. They play France in Lille in a fortnight.

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(Getty Images)

James Lowe has a chat to the host broadcaster

16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s nice to be back at home. Pleased with the result, but there’s a few things to work on going forward. It probably shows how well the provinces are doing - the boys that came in, there were no clinks or clunks. The set piece was great - it’s easy when the platform is as good as that.”

FT: Ireland 36-0 Italy

16:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A comprehensive victory for Ireland, showing their strength and depth again to keep Italy scoreless. It could have been more, really, two second half scores chalked off, but Andy Farrell’s side seldom looked trouble after the first half-hour and look red hot favourites to retain their Six Nations crown.

Jack Crowley continues to slot in seamlessly at fly half, and the Irish pack were dominant, with Finlay Bealham leading the way in the scrum-time skirmishes. Onwards Ireland roll with five match points to top the table after two rounds.


16:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

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(Getty Images)

No try! Ireland 36-0 Italy, 83 minutes

16:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Just shy of that seventh score! Luke Pearce felt Jamison Gibson-Park had got there are a dummy and dart from the back of a maul, but a review of the footage before the conversion shows Gibson-Park had knocked on short of the line.

Ireland 36-0 Italy, 82 minutes

16:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Deeper into the red the game extends with Ireland on the attack. An Italian on the floor involves himself - another penalty and Ronan Kelleher will throw a lineout six metres short of the line.

Ireland 36-0 Italy, 80 minutes

16:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We haven’t seen much of Alessandro Izekor on his first Test start, but he’s caught the eye of Luke Pearce here - the referee rules that the flanker’s tackle on a charging Stuart McCloskey is high.

Ireland have never nilled Italy - but they’ll seek a seventh try rather than send us to the finish.

TRY! IRELAND 36-0 Italy (Calvin Nash try, 78 minutes)

16:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A sixth score for Ireland!

Two in two weeks for Calvin Nash, the beneficiary of more fluid phase play from Ireland. This is a bit more helter-skelter than their usual stylings: Stuart McCloskey hurls a brilliant offload out of a double tackle and then the transfers are good from Jamison Gibson-Park and Jack Crowley. Nash races towards the corner and cuts in at the right time to pierce the covering defensive pair.

Ireland 29-0 Italy, 75 minutes

16:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A strong shunt from Mirco Spagnolo but Jamison Gibson-Park extracts the ball before the replacement Italy loosehead is rewarded with a penalty. Gibson-Park sweeps around the back of the Irish midfield and scurries into space, but a forward pass a phase later ends the movement.

James Lowe is named player of the match by the host broadcaster, though this really has been a complete team performance from the men in Irish green.

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(Getty Images)

Ireland 29-0 Italy, 72 minutes

16:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

James Lowe scythes up the centre on the inside of Harry Byrne after the forwards do their job. Lowe gets down into the Italian 22 after his fourth line break of the day, but retreating Italian bodies block Caelan Doris’ vision - the Ireland captain’s fumble of Craig Casey’s pass really is the rarest of errors.

Ireland 29-0 Italy, 71 minutes

16:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A spinning top of a scrum means neither Michele Lamaro, still at number eight even with Vintcent on, nor replacement scrum half Martin Page-Relo wish to retrieve the ball from the base, allowing Ireland to almost latch on. Page-Relo’s knock on ensures that the scrum feed will be theirs anyway.

Ireland 29-0 Italy, 70 minutes

16:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A debut for Ross Vintcent of Exeter in the Italy back row. The number eight has plenty of gas, but won’t get the chance to show it immediately, Giacomo Nicotera’s lineout toss stolen at the front by Joe McCarthy.

McCarthy’s been quietly impressive again this afternoon. Italy are back to a full complement with Tommaso Menoncello having returned.

Ireland 29-0 Italy, 67 minutes

16:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It looks like Jordan Larmour may be operating at outside centre, up in the line as Ireland tap a scrum free kick quickly. They ease into the Italy half but Larmour’s attempts to clear a ruck are illegal - another neck roll with Larmour a little late arriving.

Giacomo Nicotera was the man wrenched. He’s another handy breakdown operator - might Italy consider starting him henceforth after a bit of a tough outing for Gianmarco Lucchesi?

Here’s that brilliant James Lowe finish in full sound and vision:

Ireland 29-0 Italy, 65 minutes

16:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jordan Larmour replaces Robbie Henshaw, who has been really effective in that 13 channel again. A decision to make in midfield for Andy Farrell if Garry Ringrose is back fit for round threei n a fortnight - Bundee Aki, you’d imagine, is a certain starter, but Henshaw’s made a real case to partner him.

Bosh! Jack Conan positively pulverizes Ange Capuozzo as the full-back tries to spark something from nothing, forcing a knock on.

TRY! IRELAND 29-0 Italy (James Lowe try, 62 minutes)

16:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A piston-pumping finish from James Lowe!

Pure power from the Ireland wing, good all day again and now with a score to celebrate. The build-up play was excellent to open up an alleyway through which Lowe could sprint, but there are still four cover defenders coming across at him with seven metres still to run. Lowe angles in, using his sharp edges to rid himself of Ange Capuozzo and Paolo Garbisi while still having the strength to hold off Monty Ioane and Giacomo Nicotera to the line.

Ireland 24-0 Italy, 61 minutes

16:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Oh dear. Ange Capuozzo throws a speedy lineout even with Italy down to 14 men, but there’s not much on for Paolo Garbisi on the left as his teammates spread it to him. Garbisi thus kicks for touch, not, perhaps, realising that the mark for the quick lineout was outside the 22 - carried back, out on the full, Ireland’s ball in advanced territory.

Iain Henderson is on in the Irish second row.

Ireland 24-0 Italy, 59 minutes

16:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Harry Byrne has gone in at ten, with Jack Crowley now at full-back after Hugo Keenan’s withdrawal. Byrne fluffs his line in the latest Irish attacking production, a pull-back pass at his throat knocked on after Crowley had cut a dummy angle in front of him.

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(Getty Images)

YELLOW CARD! Tommaso Menoncello is sent to the sin bin! Ireland 24-0 Italy, 58 minutes

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Off to the bin goes Tommaso Menoncello! A sharp intercept from James Lowe defending on the outside, and Menoncello throws out a leg as he tries to accelerate away. It’s not exactly a Paolo Maldini challenge from Menoncello - he’ll have ten minutes to consider his actions on the naughty step.

Ireland 24-0 Italy, 57 minutes

16:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A handful of Ireland changes: Ronan Kelleher, Jeremy Loughman, Tom O’Toole and Harry Byrne all on. Byrne is on for Hugo Keenan, who did look to have done an ankle in the build-up to that try. Ireland will hope that is just precautionary.

Danilo Fischetti has taken leave for Italy; Mirco Spagnolo on.

No try! Ireland 24-0 Italy, 56 minutes

16:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Robbie Henshaw crashes over. But the TMO wants a look. Eric Gauzins calls down to Luke Pearce - had Henshaw been tackled and gone again before reaching for the line?

Yep, it’s a bit of a scrabble from Henshaw - NO TRY. The centre had propelled himself with both knees, and doesn’t seem to have too many complaints as Pearce chalks the score off.

Ireland 24-0 Italy, 55 minutes

16:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy push Ireland back, Craig Casey looping off Ryan Baird’s pull-back but absolutely clattered. Up into the 20s the phase count grows, and Italy look to be flagging.

Ireland 24-0 Italy, 53 minutes

16:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What a tackle from Stephen Varney! The scrum half somehow denies Dan Sheehan what looked a certain hat-trick, hauling him back having appeared to have been speed bumped by the flying hooker.

Ireland’s ball still, though...

Ireland 24-0 Italy, 52 minutes

16:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Can Italy find some fight? This is starting to get a little worrying now, Hugo Keenan making a cutting break almost immediately after the restart, latching on to a clever Craig Casey kick. Back into the Italy 22 Ireland go, though it appears Keenan might have hurt himself.

TRY! IRELAND 24-0 Italy (Dan Sheehan try, 50 minutes)

16:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Inevitable. A second for Dan Sheehan, a fourth for Ireland and the bonus point is theirs.

All a little too easy for Ireland. Six Italian forwards pour in to the front to counter-drive, leaving only Gianmarco Lucchesi in the way as Ireland pivot the point of emphasis. Lucchesi engages before it fully detaches, ensuring that the three men ahead of Sheehan can drive forth, and the hooker has the most luxurious of armchair rides to the line.

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 49 minutes

16:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Gianmarco Lucchesi compounds the error by throwing a wretched lineout, and Giosue Zilocchi is penalised after the latest scrum implosion. Ireland go in search of a bonus point score in the right corner...

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 48 minutes

16:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another midfield fumble from Italy. Juan Ignacio Brex goes for a no-look pop to Manuel Zuliani, who isn’t looking either - the flanker knocks on, Italy’s eighth handling error of the day.

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 46 minutes

16:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

You did wonder if Italy might try to compete slightly more often at the breakdown in this second half having really failed to slow Ireland down in the first half, and that’s a positive sign. Michele Lamaro can’t quite get to the ball in his jackal, but James Ryan is around the neck of Gianmarco Lucchesi as the hooker follows up his captain’s effort. Penalty Italy.

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 45 minutes

16:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s all a little too loose from Italy. The idea is good, bodies in motion creating misdirection in what is, in the end, a simple crash ball from their inside centre, but a slightly inaccurate pass is dropped cold by Tommaso Menoncello, himself not quite as ready to receive it as he might have been. Ireland clear.

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 44 minutes

16:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rock steady as Zilocchi and former London Irish teammate Danilo Fischetti lock out the scrum, and Ryan Baird breaks off the flank too soon in his eagerness to hassle Stephen Varney. Penalty Italy, and Paolo Garbisi kicks down into Ireland’s half.

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 43 minutes

16:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland try to spread it to the left but Italy number up well, forcing a looping Calvin Nash to drop the ball to his toe. There’s too much on his prod ahead, and Monty Ioane herds it out of play beyond the corner flag. Back for a scrum 35 out - can Giosue Zilocchi stabilise things for Italy?

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 42 minutes

16:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A couple of Italian players are receiving treatment as James Lowe and Paolo Garbisi engage in a kicking exchange, Lowe’s massive left leg thundering the ball upfield and forcing Garbisi to retrieve from his own in-goal area. Garbisi finds touch, allowing Federico Ruzza to be attended to - the big lock has taken a sore shot to the ribs, but appears ok to join his teammates in the defensive lineout 35 out from his own line.

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 41 minutes

15:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It is indeed Ceccarelli off. Young Mirco Spagnolo impressed off the bench against England at looshead last week, so you wonder if he may be with us soon, too, as Gonzalo Quesada seeks to solve those scrum woes.

Second half...

15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, we’re ready to go again in Dublin. Giosue Zilocchi looks to be amongst things for Italy, with Pietro Ceccarelli presumably replaced.

Jack Crowley gets proceedings back underway.

HT: Ireland 19-0 Italy

15:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Smooth sailing so far for Ireland as they canter towards a bonus point victory. The hosts have been stern defensively and accurate in attack - they really are some side.

I don’t think Italy did that much wrong in that half, but their set-piece struggles have allowed Ireland to control the flow of the game, and you just can’t afford to do that against a team this good.


15:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

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(Getty Images)

Ireland 19-0 Italy, 40 minutes

15:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What striding from Ryan Baird! Good god he is some athlete, the Leinsterman an impossibly smooth mover for a man of nearly seven feet. Craig Casey capitalises on Baird’s 30-metre gallop with a clever kick beyond the Italy defence, which pitches and rolls out seven metres from the Italy line.

Surely they won’t chance their arm with the clock dead? Nope, Italy send us down the tunnel by booting the ball into the stands.

TRY! IRELAND 19-0 Italy (Jack Conan try, 38 minutes)

15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Conan provides the telling punch!

It was coming. The Italy fringe defenders battled hard, but a clever flick off the floor finds Conan one slot wider and, with a bit of a shunt from a teammate behind him, the number eight bashes the door down.

Jack Crowley adds the extras.

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 37 minutes

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Here come Ireland, the maul getting a move on and then both Dan Sheehan and Joe McCarthy going close. Surely a third score is imminent...

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 35 minutes

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that fumble, of course, means another Irish scrum to feed. It’s the same story, sadly - Danilo Fischetti’s under pressure and Luke Pearce’s arm is extended the home side’s way once more.

The Ireland forwards follow Jack Crowley’s kick to the corner.

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 34 minutes

15:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A superb defensive read from Lorenzo Pani, recognising the double pull-back play from Ireland and getting up to Calvin Nash looping around the corner. Italy counter-ruck strongly to back up Pani’s work, but Michele Lamaro just knocks on as he tries to gather the loose ball forced. The Italy captain slaps his hands together in frustration.

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 33 minutes

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

More scrum-time joy for Ireland, Pietro Ceccarelli this time pinged but the pressure on Danilo Fischetti on the other side equally causing the collapse. Italy are missing Marco Riccioni, who might normally be filling Cecarelli’s number three shirt.

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 31 minutes

15:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A sign of Ange Capuozzo’s talent, ducking and dancing between a couple of tacklers and almost away. Craig Casey just about grasps onto an ankle to prevent further progress, but that’s what Capuozzo can do.

An Italy knock on ends the attack. Good work from Casey as the sweeping cover defender - the Munster nine has been bright so far.

Craig Casey has provided plenty of tempo for Ireland (Getty Images)
Craig Casey has provided plenty of tempo for Ireland (Getty Images)

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 29 minutes

15:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Crowley appears to have lost his gumshield, which is a bit of a worry. Of course, you don’t have to wear one at professional level, but with so many players now rightly wearing the smart mouthguards that may help identify potential concussions, you would hope that Crowley will soon have a replacement run out to him.

Italy can’t make much of a lineout on halfway, and Stephen Varney is again in a bit of bother as he box-kicks. Joe McCarthy looms over the diminutive scrum half like Charles Byrne, and Varney’s slightly fortunate that the ricochet does not fall particularly nicely for Ireland.

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 28 minutes

15:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A vital turnover from Danilo Fischetti. The loosehead prop is excellent over the ball, and gets his hands in at just the right time as Ireland build another of those multiphase machinations. Ireland may argue that the tackler didn’t quite vacate the space the clearout men needed to move Fischetti, but the prop’s jackal was picture perfect.

Ireland 12-0 Italy, 27 minutes

15:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy have just been a little bit too loose in the middle third in this first half hour, knocking on just inside Ireland half and allowing Craig Casey to flip the field off his left peg. A kind bounce means Ange Capuozzo can collect, but his punt ends up in Jack Crowley’s hands, and back Ireland come.

TRY! IRELAND 12-0 Italy (Dan Sheehan try, 24 minutes)

15:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A sweeping Irish move and Dan Sheehan goes over in the left corner!

Another exhibition of attacking rugby from Ireland. It’s a delicious, deceptive dish from Jack Crowley to open Italy up, doing the defence with a flick of his eyes as a blind ball sends Hugo Keenan into space. Calvin Nash runs over Stephen Varney two phases later as momentum builds, and Crowley’s offload gives Stuart McCloskey the space he needs to put hooker Sheehan away.

Crowley adds the extra two.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 23 minutes

15:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A knock on in the tackle brings a scrum on the Italy ten-metre line, with Luke Pearce free kicking the visitors for failing to take the hit. He makes sure to remind Ireland not to put too much weight on too soon as the home front row opt to pack down again.

Stable this time? Yes, and Ireland get a nudge on. Strong work from Finlay Bealham and Ireland can play with penalty advantage.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 21 minutes

15:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Charged down! Italy fail to protect Stephen Varney as he tries to box kick from a ruck, and Dan Sheehan’s lifted limbs block the ball back. Paolo Garbisi just about manages to escape the Ireland hooker’s clutches, allowing support to arrive and Varney to assemble a hungrier caterpillar, from behind which he clears.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 19 minutes

15:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A missed connection at the back of the lineout leaves Gianmarco Lucchesi stumbling a little, stalling Italy’s efforts in launching an assault. That allows this brilliant Simon Easterby-drilled defence to lift the line speed, Italy pushed back and eventually forced to kick. Italy are moving the ball with plenty of zip but there have been precious few fissures in the green rockface so far.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 17 minutes

15:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A bit of a physical mismatch as the mosquito-like Ange Capuozzo jinks into a couple of Irish forwards, but the full-back does well to get a knee to floor, and Andrew Porter fails to heed Luke Pearce’s call to release the tackled player. Italy punt down towards the Irish line.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 15 minutes

15:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ah, but there’s the error, a wayward pass hitting the deck and Lorenzo Pani stripped as he tries to mop up. Handy scrambling, in the end, from Ireland, with Joe McCarthy and Lowe involved heavily.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 14 minutes

15:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A scrum free kick allows Italy to clear up to halfway, though Lowe collects and comes rumbling back with fire and fury. Jack Crowley looks for territory but is charged down, and Italy pour through the next breakdown to win turnover ball.

Monty Ioane is a useful man to have on the outside to exploit it, eating up the metres on the left touchline. He’s involved again soon after, wrestling through a couple of tacklers and into the 22.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 12 minutes

15:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Good defence from Italy! You feel they needed to keep Ireland out there, and they manage it, the maul counter-effort staunch and the fringe defenders alert to James Lowe’s presence on Craig Casey’s shoulder, the wing taken man and ball and forced into a knock on.

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 11 minutes

15:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italian hands disrupt the lineout possession, but it’s gone forward, so Ireland will have the scrum. Actually, a penalty - the knock on as Ireland tried to play away was deliberate. Into the corner Ireland go as they bid to follow up this lovely opening score...

Ireland 5-0 Italy, 10 minutes

15:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Crowley, much like Johnny Sexton, has real bravery to take the ball to the line, and you could see the problems that poses defences throughout that passage. Italy just had to bite in on the fly half, affording soft shoulders through which others could push to build momentum.

That’s good from last week’s other breakthrough star, Joe McCarthy shooting out of the line and depositing Paolo Garbisi some ten yards behind the gainline. Ireland win a penalty at the breakdown - to the Italian 22 they return.

TRY! IRELAND 5-0 Italy (Jack Crowley try, 8 minutes)

15:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Ireland strike!

Oh, they really are so impressive in phase play. Variety and venom as Ireland keep the ball moving, Craig Casey zippy around the base and the forward carries punchy. But the finish is all about Jack Crowley, first driving at the line to hold Monty Ioane and pop Calvin Nash into space, then injecting extra gas at first receiver to hurry through a hole on Casey’s shoulder and over for the score out on the right.

Can Crowley convert his own try, 16 metres in from the touchline? Nope, another low skudder and away to the left.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 0-0 Italy, 6 minutes

15:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Smart from Hugo Keenan! The Ireland full-back catches Italy napping after marking a high hoist, tapping and sprinting by Alessandro Izekor as the rest of the Italian chasers switch off. Into the Italy half the hosts go, Robbie Henshaw striding into space but just felled from behind. Aromising attack this, though.

Missed penalty! Ireland 0-0 Italy, 5 minutes

15:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s a bit of a breeze in Dublin, and Paolo Garbisi tries to drive his effort through it, but doesn’t quite get the strike right, low and away to the left. Garbisi, of course, is taking over kicking duties from Tommaso Allan, who didn’t train fully this week so starts on the bench.

Ireland 0-0 Italy, 3 minutes

15:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Some intriguing early shapes from Italy, working out the back a couple of times and threatening the edges, though two loose passes allow Ireland to reset. Robbie Henshaw makes muck at a ruck, and Irish hands pounce on the loose ball, but Henshaw’s actions are deemed illegal by referee Luke Pearce - hands on the floor before he counter-rucked. A fair call from Pearce, and Paolo Garbisi will line up a shot at goal.

Ireland 0-0 Italy, 2 minutes

15:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Craig Casey’s first box kick is a steepler, taken well in the Italian backfield but the catcher swarmed immediately. Stephen Varney is equally proficient with the boot as he kicks away slow ball. Tidy start from both teams.

Until then! That’s rather less good from Casey, hooking his next attempted contestable some distance into touch. A wave of apology and Italy can attack from deep in the Irish half.

Ireland 0-0 Italy, 1 minute

15:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland play through the hands immediately, but then clear, James Lowe transferring to Jack Crowley, who has time to launch long.

Crowley opts not to find touch, and Italy will run it back. Neat hands from Monty Ioane and Tommaso Menoncello find Lorenzo Pani, but the right wing is short of space and has to chip ahead. Ireland sweep it up just outside their own 22.


15:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Luke Pearce blows his whistle, Paolo Garbisi drops boot to ball, and we are underway in Dublin!

Ireland vs Italy

15:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, it’s time to get down to business. Game three of round two is upon us - it’s time for kick off in Dublin.

Ireland vs Italy

15:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Aviva Stadium gathers together in a moment of applause to remember the great Syd Millar, one of the defining rugby figures behind the scenes of the last half-century. Both teams are then introduced to Michael D Higgins, the Irish president typically cheery as he gladhands along the red matting.

Anthem time - Michele Lamaro looks fired up, positively barking out Il Canto degli Italiani with gusto. Ireland’s players provide suitable accompaniment to their anthems, Ireland’s Call sung by young Stevie Mulrooney, who wowed viewers with this rendition on Irish TV over Christmas. A lovely moment for the lad in front of a packed Aviva.

Ireland vs Italy

14:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Out the two sides come into the Dublin sunshine, Caelan Doris all smiles as he introduces himself to the matchday mascots, who are from the O’Driscoll family. A proud moment for the 25-year-old - perhaps in pole position to succeed Peter O’Mahony when, or if, the flanker steps away from the international stage - as he leads Ireland out for the first time.

Ireland vs Italy

14:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The back row battle feels key today. Italy lacked jackal threat against England, struggling to slow down their ball, but Manuel Zuliani is excellent in that regard, and Michele Lamaro was back nearer his best last weekend as a defensive workhorse. Ireland tend to resource their rucks superbly, with captain Caelan Doris setting the tone, but they’ll have to be watchful throughout.

The third man in that Italy trio is Alessandro Izekor, who has had a fine season in an impressive Benetton side. You fancy they’ll miss the carrying potency that the forthright Seb Negri and athletic Lorenzo Cannone provide, but it’s a group that still has plenty to like about it.

Ireland vs Italy: The pre-match thoughts of the coaches

14:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A smiling Andy Farrell says: “We’ve been honest with ourselves in how we get better. It’s been a thorough week, a tough old week to be honest because we are desperate to keep improving. [I want those coming in to] be the best version of themselves for the team and back themselves when they put the green shirt on.”

Gonzalo Quesada has also been collared for a chat by ITV. “I don’t know which game could be harder than this in the northern hemisphere,” the Italy head coach says. “Ireland and France are the two teams that have dominated the Six Nations in the last few years. There are a lot of things that are not ideal but I’m super excited to be here. Doing better than last week is the main goal.

“We have to be more consistent. Our discipline will be the key, we can’t let them get into the game and go into those moments when they get confident and start dominating you. I hope we are going to have better ball this afternoon and hopefully we can put more pressure on Ireland than we did England.”

Ireland vs Italy

14:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It looks a pleasant enough afternoon in Dublin, cool and dry with the sun just starting to tumble as the day lengthens. It’ll be fascinating to see how this Ireland midfield clicks - Jack Crowley, Stuart McCloskey and Robbie Henshaw won’t necessarily have worked together that often as a trio, and Italy’s centre pairing functioned nicely against England last week.

Ireland v Italy: Match officials

14:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We had, by the way, been due to welcome Pierre Brousset into the Six Nations fold today, with the French referee set for a competition debut with the whistle. But a calf injury suffered ahead of the tournament has not recovered sufficiently to allow Brousset to take charge, leaving Luke Pearce to step in and oversee a 50th Test.

He’s joined by an otherwise all-French team in Dublin with the TMO bunker system in place, as it will be throughout this Six Nations.

Ireland vs Italy match officials

Referee: Luke Pearce (Eng)

ARs: Mathieu Raynal (Fra) & Luc Ramos (Fra)

TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)

What is the TMO Bunker and how will the foul play process work in the Six Nations?

Ireland vs Italy talking points: Can the Azzurri break Dublin duck?

14:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy may have impressed last week but are yet to win on Irish soil during the Six Nations era, a reminder of the task in front of them today. Their sole victory over Ireland in 24 championship matches was a 22-15 Stadio Olimpico success in 2013. Mercurial full-back Ange Capuozzo is back from illness to strengthen the visitors. Yet new head coach Gonzalo Quesada has lost influential back-row forwards Sebastian Negri and Lorenzo Cannone due to injury. Ireland are overwhelming favourites to register a 17th consecutive home win, dating back to 2021. It will be some story if Italy somehow defy the odds.

The key talking points as Ireland prepare to host Italy in the Six Nations

Ireland v Italy talking points: Big Joe’s big impact

14:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Head coach Farrell raised some eyebrows by selecting rookie lock Joe McCarthy ahead of James Ryan and Iain Henderson at Stade Velodrome. But the hulking 22-year-old more than justified that decision with a dominant display which saw him voted championship player of round one. McCarthy’s Six Nations debut suggests he will star in Ireland’s second row for many years to come. He will be partnered by recalled provincial team-mate Ryan on Sunday. The 27-year-old Leinster co-captain, who comes in for Tadhg Beirne, will no doubt be desperate to give a reminder of his talents, having gone from possible new Ireland skipper to fighting for a regular starting spot.

Ireland lock Joe McCarthy shone against France (PA Wire)
Ireland lock Joe McCarthy shone against France (PA Wire)

Caelan Doris urged to be himself after seeking advice over ‘pretty cool honour’

14:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Caelan Doris was urged to be himself by former Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton after being handed the “pretty cool honour” of captaining his country against Italy.

Leinster back-rower Doris will lead the reigning Grand Slam champions into today’s Guinness Six Nations match in Dublin following a calf injury to Peter O’Mahony.

The 25-year-old sought advice from Sexton, who retired after last year’s World Cup, and current international team-mates O’Mahony, Iain Henderson and James Ryan, having received news of his temporary appointment from head coach Andy Farrell on Tuesday.

Caelan Doris urged to be himself after seeking advice over ‘pretty cool honour’

Team news - Italy

14:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Gonzalo Quesada is forced to remodel his back row for the second match of his time in charge of Italy, with Sebastian Negri and Lorenzo Cannone both absent. Alessandro Izekor will make his first Test start on the blindside while Manuel Zuliani’s promotion sees captain Michele Lamaro shift into the number eight shirt.

Stephen Varney replaces Alessandro Garbisi at scrum half and Ange Capuozzo is able to return after missing the England defeat due to illness, with Tommaso Allan dropping on to the bench. Exeter number eight Ross Vintcent could make his debut after being named among the replacements.

Italy XV: 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli; 4 Niccolo Cannone, 5 Federico Ruzza; 6 Alessandro Izekor, 7 Manuel Zuliani, 8 Michele Lamaro (capt.); 9 Stephen Varney, 10 Paolo Garbisi; 11 Monty Ioane, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 14 Lorenzo Pani; 15 Ange Capuozzo.

Replacements: 16 Giacomo Nicotera, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Giosue Zilocchi, 19 Andrea Zambonin, 20 Ross Vintcent; 21 Martin Page-Relo, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Federico Mori.

Team news - Ireland

14:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland make a number of changes as Andy Farrell uses this fixture as an opportunity to look at some fresh combinations and rest a couple of senior figures. Caelan Doris captains his country for the first time and shifts to the openside, with Jack Conan in at number eight and Ryan Baird completing the back row. Finlay Bealham starts on the tighthead, and James Ryan replaces Tadhg Beirne alongisde Joe McCarthy.

In the backs, Craig Casey should replicate Jamison Gibson-Park’s zip at the base and Stuart McCloskey comes in to midfield, where Garry Ringrose is not yet fit and Bundee Aki has been given a week off.

Ireland XV: 1 Andrew Porter, 2 Dan Sheehan, 3 Finlay Bealham; 4 Joe McCarthy, 5 James Ryan; 6 Ryan Baird, 7 Caelan Doris, 8 Jack Conan; 9 Craig Casey, 10 Jack Crowley; 11 James Lowe, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Calvin Nash; 15 Hugo Keenan.

Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Josh van der Flier; 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Harry Byrne, 23 Jordan Larmour.

Ireland vs Italy

14:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Righty ho, kick off is little more than an hour away in Dublin - let’s take a closer look at the two teams set to do battle this afternoon.

Paolo Garbisi knows Italy face a tough task against Ireland

13:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fly-half Paolo Garbisi believes Italy are ready for the “most difficult match in world rugby” and expects facing Ireland to be twice as tough as taking on England.

The Azzurri meet the reigning Guinness Six Nations champions in Dublin after beginning their campaign with a narrow 27-24 loss to Steve Borthwick’s side in Rome.

Ireland are overwhelming favourites for victory at a sold-out Aviva Stadium to keep themselves on course for back-to-back Grand Slam titles following a five-try demolition of France.

Montpellier man Garbisi, who acknowledges his country have been underdogs in almost every match since joining the championship in 2000, is braced for a significant test.

Paolo Garbisi knows Italy face a tough task against Ireland

Ireland vs Italy

13:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, we’ve got loads more reaction and analysis to all of yesterday’s fun across The Independent, but it’s high time we switched our focus more fully to today’s proceedings. Andy Farrell is hoping for a great reception for his side as Ireland return to the comforts of home for the first time since their World Cup heartbreak.

Andy Farrell hoping Ireland can fire up crowd in Dublin homecoming against Italy

Six Nations LIVE: England scrape past Wales

13:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

If there was a major positive for England, though, it was an excellent defensive effort, with the hosts keeping Wales pointless in the second half. Luke Baker takes a detailed look at a system built by new assistant coach Felix Jones that could prove England’s calling card throughout this tournament.

Dangerous defence the best form of attack as England build something special

Six Nations LIVE: George Ford left baffled by conversion decision in Wales win

13:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ford’s boot eventually struck the crucial blow but there was plenty of debate over the England fly half’s non-kick in the first half at Twickenham. Should referee James Doleman have allowed Wales to charge after Ford’s step to the left? The man himself doesn’t think so.

George Ford left baffled by conversion decision in Wales win: ‘It doesn’t make sense’

Six Nations LIVE: England scrape past Wales

13:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There was plenty to talk about at Twickenham, too, as Wales’ youngsters gave England plenty to think about to threaten a first Six Nations victory at the home of English rugby in 12 years. But in the end, it was George Ford who slayed the dragon...

George Ford slays the dragon but scrappy England win won’t go down in folklore

Six Nations LIVE: Finn Russell rues late drama but admits Scotland can’t leave it to the referee

13:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Scotland co-captain Finn Russell also felt his side were unfortunate, but admitted that the hosts should have put the game to bed long before those final moments.

Finn Russell rues late drama but admits Scotland can’t leave it to the referee

Gregor Townsend responds to late TMO controversy as France beat Scotland in Six Nations

13:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Gregor Townsend felt Scotland were robbed of victory over France as he expressed bewilderment that the officials failed to award them a try in the last action of a dramatic Murrayfield showdown.

Les Bleus claimed a 20-16 win in Edinburgh to get their Guinness Six Nations campaign up and running – but only after referee Nic Berry and TMO Brian MacNeice spent several minutes deliberating over whether home substitute Sam Skinner had grounded the ball on the try-line before deciding that it had been held up by the boot of French replacement Yoram Moefana.

Scotland’s supporters, players and staff – having seen pictures of the incident on the big screen – were convinced they were about to be awarded a match-winning try, and the officials were loudly booed by the home crowd when they stuck with the original call not to give the score.

Gregor Townsend responds to late TMO controversy as France beat Scotland

Six Nations LIVE: Yesterday’s action

13:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We’ll throw ourselves into the build-up to today’s fixture in a bit, but first a look back on yesterday’s drama-filled action - and let’s start with that decision at Murrayfield as Scotland fell inches, and a conclusive camera angle, short.

Late drama denies Scotland as France emerge victorious at Murrayfield

Good afternoon

13:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland take on Italy looking for another win as the second round of the 2024 Six Nations concludes in Dublin.

Andy Farrell’s men were outstanding in Marseille last Friday, shutting France down in what could prove a de facto championship decider and seemingly setting up another grand slam tilt. Farrell has opted to rotate his side as Ireland return home, with Caelan Doris appointed captain and set to lead his country for the first time at Test level.

Italy, meanwhile, might just be eyeing a shock, having impressed against England in their opening fixture. While Gonzalo Quesada’s side ultimately fell away to defeat, Monty Ioane’s late try earned them a losing bonus point and the will arrive at the Aviva Stadium with confidence that they can push Ireland close, having done so in both meetings between these two sides in 2023.

Follow live coverage of Ireland vs Italy in today’s live blog