Wales will meet with Italy this afternoon at the Principality Stadium, where the fourth round of the Six Nations will come to an end.
Italy are looking to secure their first victory of the Six Nations campaign, and Wales will be coming out with determination and fight following two recent losses.
Warren Gatland’s side have not been on great form in their last few performances, and their round three loss at the Aviva Stadium drummed in similar patterns to their defeat at Twickenham prior to that.
Wales have not seemed to be able to find their rhythm in recent matches, decreasing their chances of claiming a victory, however, with the changes that Gatland has made to the squad, they should have the grit to find their feet.
Conor O’Shea’s men will be going into this encounter having lost their last fifteen Six Nation meetings, and need to find a way to turn their luck around.
The last time the two sides came together in Rome, in last year’s Six Nations Championship, and Wales came out on top and delivered a storming 33-7 victory.
The one to watch for Wales this afternoon will be James Davies, as the 26-year-old is set to make his international debut. The athleticism and dynamism he has is what makes him unique, and stand out from other players in the squad.
Italy will have their focus on flanker Sebastian Negri who will gain his sixth international cap for the country this afternoon. The 23-year-old is in his prime and will have many years of rugby ahead of him.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Wales coach, Gatland, gave his thoughts prior to the game:
“It is challenging making changes, but we have picked a really exciting team and Sunday is their chance.”
Italy need to provide a quality performance today and head coach O’Shea believes his team can get back into the top ten ranking after the World Cup in 2019. He too spoke to Sky Sports to give his thoughts ahead of the game:
“I am happy we are seeing progress but I am obviously desperate to win because that is what you’re judged on.
We are doing a lot of the right things, we have put a lot of systems in place and we are blooding a lot of young guys and a team we are building for the future, but it is easy to talk like that – we want to win” he added.
The match will kick-off at 3pm at the Principality Stadium.