Six Nations: Italy v Wales match preview, team news and statistics
|Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Saturday, 9 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online; Text updates on the BBC Sport website and app; Highlights on BBC Sport website, BBC Two and online. Full details.|
Team news & line-ups
Centre Jonathan Davies will captain Wales for the first time on Saturday in a team featuring 10 changes from last week’s win over France.
Flankers Thomas Young and Aaron Wainwright, wing Jonah Holmes and scrum-half Aled Davies all make their first starts in the Six Nations.
Josh Navidi moves to number eight with Ross Moriarty dropping to the bench, alongside usual captain Alun Wyn Jones.
Edoardo Padovani starts on the wing for Italy in one of two changes.
Wasps back Michele Campagnaro moves to centre to earn a 40th cap, while Benetton prop Nicola Quaglio replaces Andrea Lovotti to make just a third start.
Italy: 15-Hayward; 14-Padovani, 13-Campagnaro, 12-Morisi, 11-Esposito; 10-Allan, 9-Palazzani; 1-Quaglio, 2-Ghiraldini, 3-Ferrari, 4-Sisi, 5-Budd, 6-Negri, 7-Steyn, 8-Parisse.
Replacements: 16-Bigi, 17-Traore, 18-Pasquali, 19-Ruzza, 20-Barbini, 21-Gori, 22-McKinley, 23-Benvenuti.
Wales: 15-L Williams; 14-Holmes, 13-J Davies (c), 12-Watkin, 11-J Adams; 10-Biggar, 9-A Davies; 1-N Smith, 2-Dee, 3-Lee, 4-Ball, 5-Beard, 6-Wainwright, 7-Young, 8-Navidi.
Replacements: 16-Elias, 17-W Jones, 18-Lewis, 19-A W Jones, 20-Moriarty, 21-G Davies, 22-Anscombe, 23-Amos.
View from the Wales camp
Wales head coach Warren Gatland: “We have made a number of changes, but picked what we think is a very exciting team that still has huge experience throughout it.
“We have made a similar number of changes to what we did last year, but it is all about opportunity for these players. We have had a squad of 31 training together, replicating the Rugby World Cup, and it is important they get game time.
“It is a great opportunity for Jon as captain. He has a huge amount of experience, is a great leader and it is a great honour for him to lead his country.
“Italy will be hurting after last weekend but they are a different proposition in Rome.”
- Wales have won their last 11 meetings with Italy in the Six Nations, scoring an average of 36 points per game.
- Italy have beaten Wales at home on two occasions in the Six Nations. They triumphed 23-20 in 2007 and 30-22 in 2003.
- Wales’ biggest-ever Six Nations win was against Italy, a 67-14 home triumph in 2016.
- Italy have lost their last 18 matches in this tournament – a Five/Six Nations record.
- They have conceded 751 points, an average of 42 per game, during that run.
- Italy have triumphed in just six matches since the 2015 World Cup, losing 28.
- Wales can match their best-ever run of 11 straight Test wins, last set in 1910.
- Their 16-point turnaround in the win over France last weekend was the biggest half-time comeback in any Five or Six Nations match.
- It was also the biggest half-time comeback in Welsh Test history.
- Ross Moriarty and Justin Tipuric made a joint game-high 20 tackles in the win over France last weekend.
Standings after week one
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Touch judges: Wayne Barnes (England) & Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)