Wednesday 21 March 2018

Wizardry of Welsh spells woe for Italy

THERE can only be one winner out of this one. Wales are |too far down the road, too professional under Warren Gatland to slip up at home to what must be a weary Italy, writes Des Berry.

A lot has been made out of the absence of captain Marc Warburton. It is a non-issue.

In fact, Justin Tipuric could be about to show the rest of Europe that he is the next best traditional openside in the competition.

Ian Evans has retained his slot in the second row beside Alun Wyn Jones as Gatland rightly shows he is not afraid |to reward form players. This breeds healthy competition.

It will take another almighty shift from Italy captain Sergio Parisse to keep the visitors from being left in the dirt.

His inspiration is infectious and demands the highest standards of commitment from others. If only it was enough.

Wales v Italy

Tomorrow 2.30 RTé2/bbc1

Verdict: Wales

Wales: L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, J Davies, |J Roberts, G North; R Priestland, M Phillips; |G Jenkins (capt), M Rees, A Jones, A-W Jones, |I Evans, D Lydiate, J Tipuric, T Faletau.

Italy: A Masi; L McLean, G Canale, A Sgarbi, |M Bergamasco; K Burton, F Semanzato; |A Lo Cicero, L Ghiraldini, L Cittadini, Q Geldenhuys, C van Zyl, A Zanni, S Favaro, S Parisse (capt).

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