Wales Are Set To Battle Italy For The ‘Wooden Spoon’ In Rome and Treviso

Harry Corish - Sportin Journalist

So far Warren Gatland hasn’t quite had the impact many Welsh fans have been hoping for, since arriving back in Wales this year.

The Wales head coach has again decided to ring in the changes this week, with six players making way following their 20-10 defeat against England. Notable inclusions are Rhys Webb at scrum half, making his first start for Wales in three years.

With Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Bigger moving out of the 23, Owen Williams will be Wales’ only recognised kicker heading into Saturday’s game.

There is no fly half cover on the bench, meaning Joe Hawkins may make the move to ten if Owen Williams is to be forced off the field.

Wales have lost their first three games in the Six Nations this year and now face a tough battle at the Stadio Olympico, where they face Italy this weekend.

In previous years, Italy have found themselves rooted to the bottom of the table, but we’re now seeing a very different Italian side, one that could easily be enough to raise worries amongst Wales’ team.

The game is billed as the ‘Wooden Spoon Decider’, but the pressure will be on Wales this week as they continue to search for their first win since Gatland’s return.

With Italy already ahead in the table, after securing a losing bonus point against France in the first game week, Wales will be under pressure to bring home the win.

The Italian side will head into the game oozing with confidence, having beaten Wales last year at the Principality stadium, and now with a home advantage boosting their chances.

Losing superstar Ange Cupuozo will be a blow to Kieran Crowley’s side, but the emergence of stars such as Lorenzo Cannone, Paolo Garbisi and captain Michele Lamaro, the ‘Azurri’, will still make the Italian side tough to break down.

Wales’ under 20’s also currently lie bottom of their respective Six Nations table ahead of the tournament. Some exceptional rugby has been played by Byron Hayward’s young side this year, but they have so far been unable to pick up that elusive win.

Both Wales and Italy under 20’s are without a win so far this campaign, but Wales currently sit three points below the ‘Azurri’, courtesy of bonus points, making it crucial that Wales pick up a win away from home in Treviso.

Good Luck Team Wales!