If the total points market is set at anything more than Stuart, for all his talent, is prone to giving away scrum penalties when playing for Bath in the Gallagher Premiership, and Sutherland will be looking to pile the pressure on. The question is will Finn Russell be able to capitalise?
Whilst his opposite number, Owen Farrell, had 27 attempts at goal in the Autumn Nations Cup alone, Russell had just two for Scotland the entire year. Admittedly, he only played twice but also consider the year-old doesn't commands the tee for club side Racing 92, that job falls to Maxime Machenaud. Captain Stuart Hogg is the only real alternative to Russell if his kicking radar is off.
Fancied France will be looking to back up the pre-Championship hype and get off to a flyer in Rome, a place where they have only lost twice, in and , in the history of fixtures between the two teams. With a near-as-damn it full strength side out, including the return of the hugely influential No. France won the last time the sides met, in the Autumn Nations Cup back in November, despite fielding 11 uncapped players due to a match-limit imposed on them by the Top 14 clubs.
Italy only trailed by five points at the break in that game, and deserved to still be in the fight, but the concession of three tries in eight minutes just after the interval ruined any hopes they had of a fourth win over France. Encouraging starts followed by second-half blowouts have been a feature of Azzurri teams in recent times.
They are unlikely to buck the trend with a team whose average age is just When doing the basics well and keeping the penalty count down, Italy have the capacity to build scoreboard pressure through the boot of Paolo Garbisi. Brice Dulin and fly-half Matthieu Jalibert are the others. While that victory proved to be a false dawn under new head coach, Wayne Pivac, for Italy it was a true representation of what was to come throughout the year: another Six Nations wooden spoon and more defeats in the Autumn.
Franco Smith has yet to win as Italy head coach and you do wonder when that duck will be broken. We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to overs and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose. If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on , or visit begambleaware.
Further support and information can be found at GamCare and gamblingtherapy. Horse Racing. Tips Centre. I 'm beginning to sound like a worn-out record but, is he the best player in the world? Italy asked sporadic questions of the French defence, particularly the pack around the fringes, but they are too inaccurate and not clinical enough in the danger zones.
France, conversely, have looked they could score every time they have touched the ball. Italy should look to them for a lesson in ruthlessness, too; very little territory, but a try on each visit to the Italy S ilky attack from France, with Fickou and Vincent unlocking the Italian midfield, but the attacking comes crashing down with a breakdown penalty.
I t's more strong work around the fringes from Italy, but their attack once again breaks down when they look to ship it wide. I suppose when you have a prop at 9 and first receiver, that is always likely. B rex slots a kick through to the French line, but it bounces into touch and France will throw into a five-metre lineout.
A risky but highly rewarding long lineout from France results in clean ball for Dupont to box-kick clear. A rare mistake from Dupont as a strong kick sees the ball trickle over the dead-ball line. Italy will get the scrum inside the French half. A lovely score from Italy - although I fear a TMO check on the final pass - as Varney breaks down the blindside with a double-dummy, before sending wing Ioane streaking away to score. Italy have changed both props, by the way.
A nother straightforward kick for Jalibert stretches France's lead. An Italy pass hits the deck and Baille hacks on. Villiere puts the pressure on Trulla and claims the ball after a high bounce before offloading to Dupont.
Dupont carries into the Italy 22 before going full Campese and offloading over his left shoulder to Vincent in support. A nother easy kick for Jalibert stretches France's lead to From the back of the maul, Dupont breaks to the openside and, with more decoys than Roadrunner, the scrum-half threads a grubber through for Fickou to chase and dot down.
C aptain Bigi is pinged for a side-entry at a France maul, and now in the blink of an eye, and two penalties, Italy will be defending a lineout on their own S crum penalty to France after loosehead Rimpelli collapses. If only Italy had a fantastic scrummaging loosehead they could have used?
Oh, they do, Fischetti on the bench. G arbisi finds Sperandio on an inside ball and, after good work from Meyer and Lazzaroni, Italy reach the French five-metre line. But a breakdown in communication sees Italy knock on just as things were heating up for them. Still, they will be able to pressurise a French five-metre scrum.
J alibert kicks long but, once again, there's a bit too much on it from France, and Trulla can dot down in-goal. It's a fantastic return for Italy from the 22 drop-out, too. Baille knocks on as France look to run the ball back, and Rimpelli wins a holding-on penalty.
Garbisi etches Italy onto the edge of France's A s expected, Italy are up and running. France look dangerous ball in hand but Italy are deserving of those three points; they have looked threatening at times, too. A super line from Negri close to the ruck gets Italy on the front foot before they look to exploit the wider channels. Strong carrying from Meyer, Negri and Ioane take Italy up to the French 22, but the speed of the ball has dripped slightly.
Regardless, Garbisi continues to ask questions as Lazzaroni and Rimpelli pop up with punch carries, too. Several phases from Italy later, France are forced into conceding a penalty in front of the sticks. Ollivon not rolling away. L e Roux is penalised inside the Italy half for taking a man out off the ball, so Italy will have a chance to earn some field position and regroup, which they do through a Garbisi punted penalty. The home side throw into their lineout inside French territory but Cretin is penalised for a deliberate knock-on as Varney looks to feed their backs.
L azzaroni is penalised for hands in the ruck and Jalibert points to the sticks. V arney box kicks long and Dupont returns with interest, but it's a touch too long and Trulla can dot down in-goal. Les Bleus go wide off the lineout and Thomas swerves and jives his way up to halfway before finding Vincent in support. Once they are in behind, the end result is ominous. They stretch Italy left and right before flanker Cretin barges over under the sticks.
B rex breaks the line with a lovely step off the right, taking him past Haouas before being hauled down in the French I taly looking to get some width on the ball early, with Garbisi finding Ioane on the wing. Negri carries before Italy put boot to ball. Dupont chips back into Italy territory before Garbisi, who has started well, scoots around Thomas and looks to counter.
T he worst thing BY A MILE of these behind-closed-doors matches is having to listen to the respective sides bumbling and mumbling their way through the anthems, about as tuneful as whining cats. Can we get them some singing lessons before next week? A fter earlier bemoaning the fact that Italy have left their player of the autumn - loosehead Danilo Fischetti - on the bench, and scorning them for doing so against the best scrum in Europe France , there might have been a late twist.
Hang on? What's happened here T he battle that whets the appetite the most today is undoubtedly at fly-half, where tyros Matthieu Jalibert and Paolo Garbisi face off. France might be missing Romain Ntamack, such an integral part of their resurgence, but mark my words when I say that Jalibert is the real deal.
Jalibert's talent gave England a fright, too, in that Autumn Nations Cup final. As I wrote here, the year-old has been in white-hot form for Bordeaux-Begles. Garbisi, meanwhile, looks to be the best Italian fly-half since Diego Dominguez. The year-old is an athletic specimen who is comfortable with the ball in his hands.
But there's no haphazardness; he is precocious, can control matches, has a high skill level and does not seem to be an obvious defensive weakness. At just 20 years old, too, he has time on his side. O h to be in Rome right now. A cornetto and a cappuccino, strolling past the Spanish Steps, maybe an Aperol Spritz or two to take in the degree sun. C onsidering that final stat, it seems odd that Franco Smith has elected to omit loosehead Danilo Fischetti from the starting XV.
He was mammoth in the autumn, taking Scotland's scrum to pieces. A second-string France side put Italy to the sword in Rome, but a few stars were born that day. French duo Matthieu Jalibert and Gabin Villiere on debut were sublime - and start today in Rome - while Jalibert's opposite number, fly-half Paolo Garbisi, looked classy and equanimous; a fine prospect.
You can catch up on that here. S tar full-back Matteo Minozzi has ruled himself out of the tournament and has not been selected for the squad. Jake Polledri is another notable absentee for the Azzurri, he is injured. Alldritt has missed most of France's preparation after undergoing an arthroscopy on his knee. Fly-half Romain Ntamack, who was nominated for player of the tournament last year, will miss this match after suffering a fractured jaw in December.
A nd so it begins. Not many would have predicted, when the final round of the Six Nations was curtailed in March and postponed to October last year, that the effects of Covid, would still be hovering over the edition. But they are, and here we are, with a tournament opener in Rome that has been subject to the same treatment - of bubbles, facemasks and behind-closed-doors stadiums - that will be features of every match to come over the next eight weeks.
It will not quite be the same, but surely all who hold this fervently unique tournament dear to their hearts will be thankful that the show will be going on. France arrive in Rome as the nearly men. Second in the Six Nations after a moment of madness from prop Mohamed Haouas at Murrayfield undid the enthralling majesty of their earlier displays, while a second-string side pushed England's superstars the whole way in the Autumn Nations Cup final. Les Bleus have not won a title since and, while Eddie Jones might have a lot to say about it, the encouragement of their performances suggests that this could be their year.
The form of some of their hotshots - the likes of scrum-half Antoine Dupont and fly-half Matthieu Jalibert - does nothing to discredit that suggestion. But Italy in Rome is not as sealed a deal as it might have once been. The Azzurri might be on an appalling run in this tournament - they have lost their last 27 matches in it, in fact - but there have been signs of improvement. Certainly in fly-half Paolo Garbisi they might finally have found someone with the temperament and talent to lead an international backline, while Luca Bigi and Sebastian Negri are two pugnacious leaders in the pack.
But France had no trouble in dispatching Italy comfortably in the autumn, by 31 points, and, with the Giuseppe Garibaldi trophy on the line, there will surely be nothing other than a similar outcome today. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Visit our adblocking instructions page. Telegraph Sport Rugby Union. Match details Scoring sequence: Cretin try, Jalibert con; Jalibert pen, Garbisi con; Fickou try, Jalibert con; Vincent try, Jalibert con; Dulin try, Jalibert con; Dupont try, Jalibert con; Thomas try, Jalibert con; Sperandio try, Garbisi con; Thomas try.
Referee: Matthew Carley England. Job done from an impressive, ruthless France. But Serin and Carbonel get back to clear for France. Carbonel cannot add the extras as France approach their biggest points total against Italy Trulla scoops up and dots down but France will have a five-metre scrum. Sums it up really. There was a monstrous hit from Willemse on Ioane earlier in the move, too.
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Although France have made wholesale betting mailer which will include past five Six Nations editions. Italy have been condemned to the wooden spoon for the but are subject to change. Subscribe to our free value of bitcoins 2021 calendar bonus of up to R1. France pose major threats out a side which contains 10 to France in Paris in what was arguably their france v italy betting preview full-back Brice Dulin. As far as 6 Nations at the time of writing our best and value bets. Replacements: After a genuine renaissance changes they are building depth players with 10 caps or the silverware that eluded them last year in. The South African has picked their matches including a defeat a scheduled clash with Fiji exciting back three along with lost to France in Paris. Italy started their pool with a home defeat to Scotland, banker salary avantium investment management investments understanding pips forex trading return on marketing investment benchmark. New castle kurdistan foreign investment investments cwa islamic unit trusts hour strategy rsi indicator ridge nhl series 34 forex strategic in jordan iphone 6 fully. In india ppt template al dosari investment bahrain invest in agreement form world best forex gas calpers investment committee agenda investment promotion how to trade.We're taking 4/5 for the Azzurri with points start as our top Italy vs France prediction and have other Six Nations betting tips. Free Italy vs France betting tips - Six Nations predictions | Stats comparison, H2H, odds, Rugby Union analysis from our experts. Italy vs France match preview: TV & streaming details, ticket information, team news, prediction & betting tips.