Replacements: 16. Ryan Elias, 17. Wyn Jones, 18. Dillon Lewis, 19. Alun Wyn Jones, 20. Ross Moriarty, 21. Gareth Davies, 22. Gareth Anscombe, 23. Hallam Amos (Dragons)
What happened in this fixture in 2018?
Wales, despite being criticised for making a number of their changes to their side, convincingly defeated Italy 38-14 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Wing George North scored two of Wales’ five tries.
What are they saying?
“We have to work on all the things we can control and the match against Scotland is an example,” believes Italy head coach Conor O’Shea. “We play at a very high level against tough opponents. For us it is a great challenge from the mental and physical point of view. If we train well, as in this week, I’m sure we can be more competitive in the future. We are preparing the next game to win it.”
“We want to put pressure on our opponents to try to increase our level upwards. We must always work and keep our attention high. I believe that if we maintain a high standard in training we can achieve very important results. I believe a lot in this group. People outside our environment are free to think that this is something impossible. I do not think so: I have available guys of great value. Our focus must be on ourselves “.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “We have made a number of changes this weekend, but have 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 (Davies) 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 (they lost to Scotland), but they are a different proposition in Rome.
“They are an experienced team themselves and they will be looking to put things right on the pitch after their opening defeat.”
What are the betting odds?
- Italy to win – 11/1
- Wales to win – 1/12
- Draw – 40/1
What is our prediction?
Predicted score: Even with Warren Gatland having made a number of changes to his starting XV, Wales still look far too strong for Italy and should make it two wins from two.
Italy 12 Wales 34