Italy serve Six Nations defeat to Wales on a wooden spoon

Wales endured a chastening defeat at home to Italy, a result that saw Warren Gatland's side take home the unwanted wooden spoon

It is Wales who are the recipient of the dastardly wooden spoon, put to the sword by a gladiatorial Italian outfit who will be hailed as history makers in their own right.

While Gonzalo Quesada’s vibrant outfit finished their fairytale campaign on a high – this being the first time ever they have gone three men’s Six Nations matches unbeaten – Wales will wallow in their worst-ever championship finish in over two decades.

Warren Gatland, whose side staged a late fightback, scoring a trio of late tries that brought a rather frenetic ending to the contest, offered his own rather sobering assessment. “We’ve probably hit rock bottom,” said the Wales head coach.

Gatland’s young side have played in positive spurts throughout this wretched championship – and this was no different. Although they valiantly fought back to reduce the deficit to just three points, the scoreline was hardly a true reflection of how proceedings unfolded.

In truth, they lost the match before it had even begun, strangled in a morbid first half. What phases they could string together were curtailed by slippery hands or the masterful poaching work of Michele Lamaro on the floor, as Italy’s attacking juices flowed nicely.

The visitors’ opening try was a breathtakingly brilliant showcase of the green shoots that Quesada has meticulously nurtured in the relatively short amount of time he has been at the helm of Italian rugby. Executed by the excellent Monty Ioane and crafted by a crisp flat pass from Paolo Garbisi, it was their intricately-angled offloading game in the build-up that was even more eye-catching. Even without their star man Ange Capuozzo – who was the hero two years ago in Cardiff to create Edoardo Padovani’s matchwinner but was ruled out of this contest with a broken finger – Italy were better in practically every area.

Every time Wales tried to muster something in the danger zone they ran into heavy traffic, but they were also victims of their error-strewn game. They conceded three holding-on penalties in the first quarter of an hour and had no answer to the physicality Italy brought to Cardiff.

A shambolic microcosm of their championship came in the 30th minute, when, in an episode of dyer communication, Cameron Winnett and Sam Costelow both made an attempt to gather Paolo Garbisi’s long-range hoof downfield. Neither succeeded in doing so, and the Principality groaned.

Italy, by comparison, set about destroying a distraught sea of red, with penalties from Garbisi and, latterly, Martin Page-Relo keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Quesada has breathed new life into his side, whose place in this competition for so many earth-shattering years once looked untenable. “The belief of the players, their commitment was huge before I arrived, and it’s still growing,” confirmed an elated Quesada.

His side’s 11-0 lead at the break was more than merited and it was one they duly extended. Rio Dyer blitzed down his wing only for Italy to counter with a stunning reply which saw Lorenzo Pani glide over at the opposite end. The omnipresent Ioane was once again involved, releasing the crucial offload that put the full-back sailing through a gap in Wales’ beleaguered defence. No Capuozzo? No problem.

That was the cue for the boos to ring out around the Principality, as Tompkins was hauled off for Mason Grady in a bid to inject something – anything – into Wales’ clunky attack.

The harrowing reality is that this burgeoning collective have their best formative years ahead of them. They have shown ephemeral flashes of brilliance in this learning-curve of a campaign but, sadly, have nothing to show for it.

Will Rowlands injected a fresh verve into his side’s attack as Wales gradually began to punch holes through the middle to varying success – Elliot Dee contorted his body over the whitewash to get the hosts on the scoreboard – before Rowlands and Grady crossed late on. Their efforts, however, were too late.

A penny for the thoughts of George North, who hobbled off with a suspected achilles injury in the dying moments. One of Wales’ most ardent servants would have hardly wanted to bow out of the international arena with rugby’s most unwanted prize, his exit signalling a changing of the guard in Welsh rugby.

“I know the fans are hurting,” said Gatland. “But I honestly do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see exciting players who with some time are going to be excellent internationals who I know have worked hard. There’s a huge amount of inexperience with players who have not played a lot of regional rugby and we’re exposing them to Test level.”

Match details

Scores: 0-3 Garbisi pen 0-6 Garbisi pen, 0-11 Ioane try, 0-16 Pani try, 0-18 Garbisi con, 5-18 Dee try, 7-18 Costelow con, 7-21 Garbisi pen, 7-24 Page-Relo pen, 12-24 Rowlands try, 14-24 Costelow con, 19-24 Grady try, 21-24 Lloyd con.

Wales: Winnett; Adams, North, Tompkins (Grady 48), Dyer; Costelow (Ioan Lloyd 73), Williams (Hardy 62); Gareth Thomas (Mathias 73), Dee (Evan Lloyd 73), Lewis (O’Connor 73), Jenkins (capt), Beard (Rowlands 51), Mann (Martin 57), Reffell, Wainwright.
Tries: Dee, Rowlands, Grady Cons: Costelow, Ioan Lloyd 2.

Italy: Pani; Lynagh, Brex, Menoncello, Ioane (Marin 75); Garbisi, Varney (Page-Relo 50); Fischetti (Spagnolo 57), Nicotera (Lucchesi 29, 57), Ferrari (Zilocchi 50), Niccolò Cannone (Favretto 85), Ruzza, Negri (Zuliani 60), Lamaro (capt), Lorenzo Cannone (Vintcent 50).
Tries: Ioane, Pani Con: Garbisi Pens: Garbisi 3, Page-Relo.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (Fra).

Attendance: 72,121.

Wales v Italy: As it happened...

04:43 PM GMT

Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins speaks to the BBC – ‘Stick with us’

On the mood in the camp...

“It’s a feeling of complete disappointment. No disrespect to Italy but as a playing group we want to win those games and beat those teams. It’s just severely disappointing.”

His plea to the fans...

“I’d say to the fans, just stick with us because I promise you the future is bright.”

On what the players need to do...

“When we go away from this environment we’re just going to have to get better as individuals and then when we get back together as a group, we’ll be in a better place.”

04:31 PM GMT

Warren Gatland speaks to the BBC - ‘It’s a learning curve’

On what went wrong...

“We were a bit lateral and allowed them to defend us too easily.”

On where now for the side...

“We knew the inexperience we had in the squad,. It’s a learning curve... I cannot criticise the boys, they’ve put a lot of effort in.”

On his second stint at Wales coach...

“No regrets, I am really excited about this group. They are going to learn from this.”

04:18 PM GMT

Michele Lamaro speaks to the BBC - ‘We know we can do better’

On not finishing bottom...

“It’s everything for us, I want to say thank you to every Italian here today. We want to achieve more, we’ve had a good tournament but we know we can do better.”

On what’s changed since the World Cup...

“There are a few things we’ve changed. The mindset is new, never had it before. We’re confident and over the past few years we’ve worked hard for this.”

On where now for the team...

“Two games doesn’t define a team, we still need to be consistent.”

04:14 PM GMT

Man of the match Brex speaks to the BBC - ‘This means a lot’

On not finishing with the wooden spoon...

“It means a lot - we are so happy and have worked hard for this.”

On the transformation since the World Cup...

“After the World Cup we had a good meeting with the players and staff.”

04:11 PM GMT

FULL-TIME: Wales 21 Italy 24

The scoreline flatters Wales who were second best in every department. Italy were impressive, flair in attack and dominant in defence - never a bad combination.

04:10 PM GMT


Wales 21 Italy 24

Remarkable finish as Grady scores with the last action of the match, Wales kept the ball alive and in hand before a chip over the Italy backline is collected by the substitute who scores from outside the 22. It doesn’t matter, though, as Wales still lose and end up with their first wooden spoon since 2003.

04:08 PM GMT

79 mins: Wales 14 Italy 24

While the conversion will being taken George North limped off - he’s given a great reception thanks to being one of his country’s greatest players. A sad way for a fine career to end.

04:07 PM GMT


Wales 14 Italy 24

Wales are in the Italy 22 and spill the ball over the line. Luckily for them they had an advantage and Lloyd from from resulting penalty taps and goes, but they are pushed backwards - something that sums up their display today. They have another advantage and spin it wide, Wainwright is inches from the line. The game is gone but do they have a second try? Yes, they do as Rowlands, impressive since coming on scores. Lloyd adds the conversion, but it’s a case of too little too late.

04:01 PM GMT

74 mins: Wales 7 Italy 24

Italy have been better in every department today and the scoreline doesn’t flatter them.

04:00 PM GMT

Penalty for Italy!

Wales 7 Italy 24

Another penalty for Italy from downtown - it’s Martin Page-Rello  to take it and he makes no mistake that’s the match, you suspect, Wales are three scores back of the visitors who have been mightily impressive.

03:57 PM GMT

Penalty for Italy!

Wales 7 Italy 21

Garbisi makes no mistake and bisects the posts from distance - Wales are now two converted tries back of the impressive Italians.

03:56 PM GMT

67 mins: Wales 7 Italy 18

Wales have the ball in the Italy half but are penalised as Hardy, on for Williams, is offside. Too often they have made silly mistakes and Italy decide to go for the posts and stifle the hosts’ momentum.

03:53 PM GMT

Super sub Rowlands

Will Rowlands’ energetic contribution off the bench has rippled through this Welsh team. They’ve started playing.

03:53 PM GMT


Wales 7 Italy 18

Wales again are flirting with the try line. They keep it tight and look as though they have got a try, but it goes upstairs and it’s hard to see whether the ball has been grounded by Dee...But it’s given and the hosts have a foothold and 16 minutes to try and complete a comeback. Costello adds the conversion and Wales are 11 points behind.

03:46 PM GMT

63 mins: Wales 0 Italy 18

Great hands from Wales - a rarity this match - and a fine inside pass allows Rio Dyer break through and into the Italy 22. Can they get on the scoreboard? No they cannot as Italy, not for the first time today, turn the ball over. That was thanks to a great tackle on Williams from Vintcent. The Italian defence has been so impressive.

03:43 PM GMT

61 mins: Wales 0 Italy 18

Pani is on the ground after a clash of heads with Mason Grady. Both will need to go off for HIAs. It looks accidental, both going for the bouncing ball and so no action will be taken. Both, however, stay on the pitch...strange...

03:40 PM GMT

59 mins: Wales 0 Italy 18

Garbisi takes a Williams up and under majestically, from there they are in no hurry, they don’t have to inject any pace, they have an 18-point lead and it’s Wales playing catch up.

03:36 PM GMT

56 mins: Wales 0 Italy 18

Wales are in the Italy half and there are a couple of gaps appearing in the visitors’ defence. Williams makes a dash through one before the Welsh then go right, they’re in the Italian 22 and once again the Azzuri defence wins the battle as Rowlands is penalised for holding on.

Meanwhile North is limping, it would be a shame if he was forced off in his last match, he stay on for now.

03:33 PM GMT

54 mins: Wales 0 Italy 18

It’s hard to see how Wales come back in this match. Italy’s defence has been great all day, there’s an urgency to their defensive game and the hosts look blunt every time they have the ball.

03:30 PM GMT

50 mins: Wales 0 Italy 18

Confusion in the Italian ranks, a rare mistake sees them knock on and it will be a Wales scrum. Can they create something from this? The answer is ‘nope’ as They spin the ball out right, they’re looking brighter and busier but then ruin all the decent work by holding on and gifting Italy a penalty.

03:26 PM GMT

48 mins: Wales 0 Italy 18

Penalty for Wales, they kick to touch, but Costello tries to bite off more than he can chew and in going for distance misses touch. Oh dear, this really isn’t Wales’ day.

03:24 PM GMT


Wales 0 Italy 18

Brilliant well-worked try from the visitors as they attack with the ball in hand inside their half. Great work from the centres sets up Pani who cuts in from the right flank and gets over the whitewash from all of 30 yards. Garbisi adds the extras and the scoreline doesn’t flatter the Italians.

03:21 PM GMT

44 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

Some attacking incision from Wales (SHOCK HORROR!) as Winnett delays a pass to Dyer and in doing so creates the space for the wing to run into a get over the gain line. They then ruin all that good work by then giving away a penalty for a neck roll.

03:19 PM GMT

42 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

All the action in the Welsh half so far. Dyer tries to kick long but it’s charged down and Wales remain stuck in the wrong half of the pitch.

03:16 PM GMT

40 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

The second half is under way - HUGE 40 minutes coming up for Wales (once again the half is that big that caps lock is definitely appropriate). Will Wales big-game players turn up? No changes during the break.

03:10 PM GMT

A flat Principality

Half time whistle goes and not sure if the Principality has ever been flatter, as Stephen Varney’s searching chip over the top for Nick Tompkins sat up for the Saracen but excruciatingly bounced over his head. Wales have tried some things but they aren’t getting the rub of the green at this moment.

03:01 PM GMT

HALF-TIME: Wales 0 Italy 11

A very effective and impressive first-half from Italy. Wales are in real bother in Cardiff and that will be a 40 minutes the hosts will want to forget quickly.

03:00 PM GMT

38 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

Italy are dominating the scrum and win a penalty in their own half after another impressive set piece.

02:57 PM GMT

36 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

Penalty for Wales at Italy are penalised for not releasing. They need to get something from this as they kick to the corner. From the resulting line out they go long, Wainwright does well before Tompkins knocks on, oh dear...

02:54 PM GMT

34 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

George North kicks long with the Italians again defending well and fast. There’s no real shape to the Welsh attack at the moment and North had no real alternative to kicking there.

02:51 PM GMT

32 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

Wales are struggling to get out of their own half - they’re not at it at the moment.

02:50 PM GMT

29 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

Schoolboy stuff from Wales as Costello and Winnett both fail to call for the ball and between the both of them manage to drop an up-and-under and knock the ball on. Italy, dominant in the scrum so far, will have a scrum in the Wales 22.

From the set piece the play through the phases before Garbisi puts through a lovely kick, the bounce of the ball not going for Pani. Italy are constantly asking questions of the Welsh and look dangerous every time they have the ball inside the hosts’ half.

The Principality groaned when Cam Winnett and Sam Costelow both tried to gather that long-range Garbisi kick. A real coach killer, that.

02:47 PM GMT

Attacking flair from Italy

Italy have lift off - and it had been coming. What a sublime try crafted by Menoncello and Garbisi, two of Italy’s protagonists who have been pulling the strings in their side’s attack all championship. A brilliant snapshot of the progress this Italian outfit has made under Quesada.

02:45 PM GMT

26 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

When Wales have the ball it’s laboured and clunky BUT as I type that they break into the Italy 22 thanks to North, but Italy earn a penalty thanks to brilliant work from Lamaro, great back row play.

02:43 PM GMT

25 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

Scrum penalty for Italy to only add to the feeling that the visitors are well on top, they’ve hardly been under pressure.

02:41 PM GMT

Magic from Monty

02:40 PM GMT

22 mins: Wales 0 Italy 11

Wales spin the ball down the line, it looks pretty but the Italians are so quick in attack and Ioane tackles Winnett to bring the attack to an end. Italy are dominating the Welsh at the moment.

02:37 PM GMT


Wales 0 Italy 11 

Italy are getting past the gain line on first phase - exactly what Wales are failing to do. They’re in the Welsh 22 and Ruzza picks up and go, they’re now just yards from the try line, they have an advantage, before they spin it wide and Monty Ioane goes over the line - they’re well on top here and are deservedly 11 points to the good. That would be 13 points but Garbisi misses an easy conversion - will they end up regretting that?

02:32 PM GMT

15 mins: Wales 0 Italy 6

Line out for Wales in the Italy half, they try getting the maul going for the first time this game. It then goes out wide and Tompkins drops the ball - criminal.

02:31 PM GMT

Italy are defending well

Josh Adams tackled by Italy's Stephen Varney and Tommaso Menoncello
Josh Adams tackled by Italy's Stephen Varney and Tommaso Menoncello - PA/Joe Giddens

02:29 PM GMT

Penalty for Italy!

Wales 0 Italy 6

Garbisi again makes no mistake with his trusty left boot and the visitors have a six-point lead

02:28 PM GMT

10 mins: Wales 0 Italy 3

Wales are looking pedestrian and predictable in attack. As I type Rio Dyer comes off his wing and is well tackled in midfield. The Italians are aggressive in defence and the hosts, six phases in, are goin backwards. And to compound that problem they then give a penalty away, the third holding on penalty, a huge indicator that they’re not winning the physical battle.

02:26 PM GMT

8 mins: Wales 0 Italy 3

Italy are defending well thanks to some great line speed.

02:24 PM GMT

8 mins: Wales 0 Italy 3

Italy are now penalised for not moving away and it’s a penalty for Wales. They kick for touch and will have a line out inside the Italian 22. Can they make this count?

They move the ball into the midfield but Italy turn the ball over and they spin it out wide before kicking long.

02:23 PM GMT

Penalty for Italy!

Wales 0 Italy 3

Garbisi slots the penalty through the uprights and Italy have an early lead.

02:21 PM GMT

6 mins: Wales 0 Italy 0

Wales are penalised for holding on and Italy have the first penalty of the match. They decide to go for the points, no shock there.

02:20 PM GMT

5 mins: Wales 0 Italy 0

Great break by Italy in the form of Lynagh but the winger loses the ball in the tackle and the chance of an early score goes begging.

02:18 PM GMT

4 mins: Wales 0 Italy 0

North whips out the ball to Josh Adams, but Wales are struggling to get over the gain line, the ball is slow from first phase and that has been a problem for Wales all championship.

02:17 PM GMT

2 mins: Wales 0 Italy 0

Williams takes a quick line out, before there’s a bit of kick tennis. There’s a hush around the stadium, the tension in Cardiff is palpable.

02:15 PM GMT

1 min: Wales 0 Italy 0

They’re under way in Cardiff, a HUGE (definitely worth the capital letters...) 80 minutes coming up.

02:13 PM GMT

Two rousing renditions there

And we’re moments away from kick-off.

02:10 PM GMT

National anthems time

And in the Wales and Italy national tunes we have two of the best.

02:09 PM GMT

George North

Runs out onto the pitch by himself and laps up the deserved applause.

A deafening roar has just reverberated around the Principality as George North’s name was read out by the stadium announcer. Probably the biggest cheer this stadium has seen this entire championship.

02:06 PM GMT

Legendary career coming to an end

No prizes for guessing who’s on the front of the matchday programme at this one. After such a legendary career, George North will aim to end his international career on a high of sorts by not finishing with rugby’s unwanted Wooden Spoon. He’s just the one score away from a half-century of international tries...could he cross in his 121st and final Test appearance?

02:01 PM GMT

‘I get excited by it’ Warren Gatland on the pressure ahead of the match

Pressure is where you find out about people. Some people shy away from it, for others it brings the best out of them. You want players who want to face challenges full on.

I get excited by it. It is a massive challenge and one of the reasons why you are involved in professional sport. We haven’t spoken about the wooden spoon. It is about winning. It was the same when we were going for Grand Slams.

READ: Pressure of wooden spoon showdown will accelerate Wales rebuild

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland, Wales coach and Telegraph columnist - Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

01:57 PM GMT

Italy coach Gonzalo Quesada speaks to BBC Sport

On the possibility of coming third...

“We spent the week talking about we need to do on the pitch to put ourselves on a competing mode and play for 80 minutes. We know the worst thing we can do is what happens if we win, that could distract us.”

On the aim today...

“We want a third good performance in a row, hopefully playing better will be enough but we know [Wales] will be good today.”

01:46 PM GMT

Wooden spoon permutations

Italy have a draw full of wooden spoons having finished last for the past nine seasons. But their win over Scotland last week has moved them four points ahead of Wales in the table.

While they’ll be doing their utmost to avoid another bottom-placed finish the Italians will also have a look further up the standings. A win today could see them finish above Scotland and either France or England in a best-ever position of third place.

Wales have not come last since 2003. This is what they have to do to avoid the ignominy of getting the wooden spoon.

  • If Italy win or draw in Cardiff, then Wales finish bottom.

  • If Italy secure a losing bonus point, Wales need to win with four tries and overturn Italy’s superior points difference.

  • If Italy lose without the extra point, Wales need to win by enough points to overcome Italy’s points difference.

01:38 PM GMT

A memorable George North moment

When playing for the Lions in 2013 and taking Israel Folau for a ride.

George North Israel Folau
George North Israel Folau
George North Israel Folau
George North Israel Folau
George North Israel Folau
George North Israel Folau

01:31 PM GMT

More on the Wales XV

Today is George North’s final Test for Wales. The back, who has won 120 caps, made his Wales debut as an 18-year-old against South Africa and has scored 47 tries for his country, a figure bettered only by Shane Williams.The 31-year-old also toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and then New Zealand four years later.

North, who was omitted from the starting line-up beaten 45-24 by France last weekend, replaces Joe Roberts today, with his fellow centre Nick Tompkins returning instead of Owen Watkin.

Two other changes are in the pack, where Harlequins prop Dillon Lewis is preferred to Keiron Assiratti and Cardiff flanker Alex Mann packs down alongside back-row colleagues Tommy Reffell and Aaron Wainwright.

Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins, who featured at blindside flanker against France, returns to the second row alongside Adam Beard, with Will Rowlands dropping to the bench.

Also among the replacements are uncapped Scarlets prop Harri O’Connor and Cardiff hooker Evan Lloyd, who made his Test debut against France.

Wales XV to face Italy: Cameron Winnett,  Josh Adams, George North,  Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer,  Sam Costelow, Tomos Williams, Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Adam Beard, Alex Mann,  Tommy Reffell,  Aaron Wainwright. Replacements: Evan Lloyd,  Kemsley Mathias, Harri O’Connor, Will Rowlands, Mackenzie Martin, Kieran Hardy, Ioan Lloyd, Mason Grady.

George North
Farewell to George North - PA/Andrew Matthews

01:24 PM GMT

And here is that wonderful Padovani try

01:22 PM GMT

This fixture two years ago...

...gave the championship one of its memorable finishes when Italy snatched victory in the dying seconds, thanks to Edoardo Padovani last-gasp try after Ange Capuozzo’s break. It also produced this lovely bit of sportsmanship from Josh Adams.

01:17 PM GMT

Fancy a flutter?

Having a punt? First take a look at these Six Nations betting offers and free bets.

01:14 PM GMT

How they line up

WALES XV TO FACE ITALY: Cameron Winnett,  Josh Adams, George North,  Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer,  Sam Costelow, Tomos Williams, Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Adam Beard, Alex Mann,  Tommy Reffell,  Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Evan Lloyd,  Kemsley Mathias, Harri O’Connor, Will Rowlands, Mackenzie Martin, Kieran Hardy, Ioan Lloyd, Mason Grady.

ITALY XV TO FACE WALES: Pani; Lynagh, Brex, Menoncello, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Nicotera, Ferrari, Cannone, Ruzza, Negri, Lamaro (capt), Cannone.

Replacements: Lucchesi, Spagnolo, Zilocchi, Zambonin, Vintcent, Zuliani, Page-Relo, Marin.

01:03 PM GMT

Hello . . .

This has, not to put too fine a point on it, been a miserable Six Nations for Wales. They head into today’s match staring their first championship whitewash since 2003 in the face.

Looking for silver linings they have looked, in parts, good. The performance against England could easily have resulted in a win and the second-half showing against Scotland was as exciting and exhilarating a half this year’s championship has seen.

But results are the only real currency that matters and Warren Garland’s side are searching for their first win since they beat Georgia at the World Cup.

Wales have blooded new talent this year and the sense of a new era starting has only been added by the announcement that this will be George North’s final Test.

The aim today is simple– well as simple as a scoring system with bonus points allows – win and avoid their first wooden spoon in 21 years.

Here’s how they do it.

Warren Gatland’s side have amassed three bonus points giving them the chance to climb from the foot of the table.

If the Welsh beat Italy, gain a try bonus point and prevent an Italian losing bonus point, they will go one point clear of their opponents.

Should Wales win, and neither side gain bonus points, the teams will be level on points but these circumstances would stipulate that Wales won by a margin of more than seven – enough to swing the points difference in their favour.

If a Welsh win involved both sides securing a bonus point, a margin of victory less than six points would be enough for the Italians to hold on to fifth spot on points difference.

Hope that made sense. There will be people – those not  Welsh at least – who’ll think that Italy not collecting the Wooden Spoon is a good thing for the Six Nations and northern hemisphere rugby.  But whatever the result today Italy have proved themselves  more than worthy participants in the greatest rugby competition going.

Stay here for all the pre-match build up and action with kick off set for 2.15pm.

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