Preview of Six Nations Opener in Rome
On the BBC Wales Scrum V rugby programme on Sunday 29th January, all four pundits plumped for a Wales win out in Rome. However, there were reservations. The ‘Conor O’Shea’ factor was one of them.
So, will Wales beat Italy?
The rugby press, player and coaches always say that playing in Rome is tough. But let’s look at the facts:
- There have been 10 tests on Italian soil, with 2 victories for Italy and 8 for Wales;
- Wales is undefeated in 10 consecutive test against Italy, dating back to 2007;
- In the last 2 Six Nations games between the two sides in 2015 and 2016, Wales have scored over 60 points in each game;
Maybe the questions should actually be, can Italy beat Wales?
All the pre-match talk in Wales has been about he appointment of Alun Wyn Jones as Welsh captain. A recognised leader of men, will he galvanise a stuttering Wales attack into a try-scoring machine?
Writing from a Wales perspective, I think we have a team that is capable of not only beating Italy, but also winning the Six Nations. When we perform to our true ability, we are difficult to play against and contain. Maybe we will see this new so-called ‘open style’ of rugby click into place in Rome. If that happens, I fear for the Italians.
There will be some key battles and performances, especially with British and Irish Lions tour places up for grabs.
- Parisse vs Moriarty. Can the young pretender capitalise on the opportunity of an injured Faletau? Or will the wise and incredible Parisse carry the Italians on his shoulders once again?
- Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar. Can they establish themselves as real contenders as Lions half-backs?
- Sam Warburton. Will relinquishing the captain’s arm band propel one of the world’s best 7s to new heights?
We have to wait until Sunday to find out, after France has beaten England at Twickenham, and Scotland has crushed Ireland at Murrayfield. You may laugh, but it is the Six Nations and stranger things have happened.
Legends Hospitality have a pre-match hospitality event with David Duckham and JPR Williams MBE before Six Nations Wales vs England game in Cardiff and for more information please contact Paul Fielding on:
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