Preview: Italy v Wales

Preview: Italy v Wales

Almost a year on from one of their most treasured Championship days, Italy welcome Wales looking to make it back-to-back wins in this fixture as Rome hosts the Round 4 opener.

Edoardo Padovani’s last-gasp score at Principality Stadium got Super Saturday off to a flyer in 2022 and the Azzurri will be hoping some of that magic is present this weekend – though they will have to do it without Ange Capuozzo, whose sensational break set up that famous try, due to injury.

Promising performances against France, England and Ireland have so far yielded no victories and just the one bonus point but the way they have pushed the world’s top two close at home will give Kieran Crowley’s side plenty of confidence heading into this weekend.

Wales, meanwhile, travel to the Italian capital seeking a morale-boosting triumph after three consecutive defeats of their own.

There were positives to take from their 20-10 defeat against England a fortnight ago and Gatland has shuffled his pack in search of a change of fortunes as his side look to avoid a first defeat in Rome since 2007.

Team News

Italy are missing the injured Capuozzo, who famously lit up this fixture last year but is ruled out by a Championship-ending shoulder knock this time around.

Tommaso Allan comes in at full-back to win his 70th cap in the only change to the Azzurri side who gave Ireland a scare a fortnight ago.

Warren Gatland, by contrast, has again opted to ring the changes as he seeks a winning formula.

He makes six alterations to the team beaten by England in Round 3, with Liam Williams, Rio Dyer, Rhys Webb, Wyn Jones, Dafydd Jenkins and Jac Morgan coming in.

Italy: 15 Tommaso Allan, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 11 Pierre Bruno, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney; 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 3 Simone Ferrari, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 5 Federico Ruzza, 6 Sebastian Negri, 7 Michele Lamaro, 8 Lorenzo Cannone

Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Edoardo Iachizzi, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Manuel Zuliani, 22 Alessandro Fusco, 23 Luca Morisi

Wales: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Josh Adams, 13. Mason Grady, 12. Joe Hawkins, 11. Rio Dyer, 10. Owen Williams, 9. Rhys Webb, 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ken Owens (c), 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Dafydd Jenkins, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: 16. Scott Baldwin, 17. Gareth Thomas, 18. Dillon Lewis, 19. Rhys Davies, 20. Tommy Reffell, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. George North, 23. Louis Rees-Zammit

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