Home > Six Nations > Wales v Italy preview: Team news, kick-off time, key battle, line-ups and stats for the Six Nations clash

Wales v Italy preview: Team news, kick-off time, key battle, line-ups and stats for the Six Nations clash

  • Wales host Italy in their Six Nations finale in Cardiff: 14:30 kick-off
  • Dan Lydiate will captain Wales in a Test match for the first time on Saturday
  • Italy are forced into five changes from their heavy loss against Ireland
Wales will look to finish off their Six Nations campaign in style when they face bottom-placed Italy in Cardiff on Saturday.

Last weekend’s loss to England ended Wales’ hopes of finishing at the top of the table and will try to secure a comprehensive triumph over the Azzurri, who have lost all four their previous matches in the competition.

With regular captain Sam Warburton ruled out through injury, his back row partner Dan Lydiate has been thrust in to the limelight in the leadership role.

Rhys Webb is preferred to Gareth Davies at scrum-half to make his first appearance in the red shirt since before the Rugby World Cup.

The other three changes are linked to injuries, with Justin Tipuric, Luke Charteris and Hallam Amos coming in.

Meanwhile, Italy have made five enforced changes. Tommy Allan is back at fly-half, with Andrea Pratichetti in for Michele Campagnaro.

Quintin Geldenhuys and Valerio Bernabo are selected in the second row and Martin Castrogiovanni is back at prop.


KEY STATS
  • Wales have won nine matches in a row against Italy since a 23-20 defeat in Rome in 2007.
  • The closest Italy have ever come to beating their hosts in Wales was an 18-18 draw in 2006 at the now-Principality Stadium. The Italians have lost their other 11 away games against Wales.
  • Wales could earn six successive victories at the Principality Stadium for the first time. They won their opening five Tests there in 1999.
  • They have won their concluding Six Nations match in each of the past four seasons.
  • Italy have only won two of their 42 Six Nations away fixtures, both in Edinburgh.
  • They have lost 11 of their last 13 matches, with their only wins coming in the World Cup pool stage against Canada and Romania.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wales: George North

Italy: Sergio Parisse

PREVIOUS MEETINGS
2015: Wales won 23-19 in Cardiff
2015: Wales won 60-21 in Rome
2014: Wales won 23-15 in Cardiff
2013: Wales won 26-9 in Rome
2012: Wales won 24-3 in Cardiff
2011: Wales won 24-6 in Rome
2010: Wales won 33-10 in Cardiff
2009: Wales won 20-15 in Rome
2008: Wales won 47-8 in Cardiff

LINE-UPS

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate (c), 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gareth Anscombe

Italy: 15 David Odiete, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Valerio Bernabo, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Jacopo Sarto, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Alberto Lucchese, 22 Kelly Haimona, 23 Luke McLean


Date: Saturday, March 19
Venue: Millennium Stadium
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)