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12 Feb 2019 by Adam Evans

2019 Six Nations Championship – Italy vs Ireland Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Italy vs Ireland taking place? Sunday 24th February, 15:00

Where is Italy vs Ireland taking place? Stadio Olimpico

What is the expected weather at Italy vs Ireland? Sunny with patchy clouds, 15c

What channel is Italy vs Ireland on? ITV 1

Where can I stream Italy vs Ireland? Italy vs Ireland can be streamed via the ITV Player

Where can I get tickets for Italy vs Ireland? https://sport.ticketone.it/search?text=six%20nation

LAST MEETING
Ireland beat Italy 54-7

THE LOWDOWN

ITALY

  • Italy were competitive in short bursts in Rome, but ultimately lost 26-15 to a much-changed Wales team despite tries from Braam Steyn and Edoardo Padovani.
  • Michelle Campagnaro returned to his favoured central role against Wales on Saturday, with Padovani slotting in on the wing, where they will likely start in Rome. Two of the Italians’ best players, Jake Polledri and Matteo Minozzi, are out for the tournament.
  • Italy have achieved an unwelcome record of losing 19 straight matches in this tournament’s current format, with their last victory coming against Scotland in 2015.

IRELAND

  • Ireland secured a bruising 22-13 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield after two quick first-half tries cancelled out a spirited Scottish start. However, they could not secure a bonus point, which may come back to bite them.
  • Talisman Johnny Sexton came off after 24 minutes after being battered by the Scots, but blood replacement Joey Carbery put in an emphatic performance, providing Earls with a try-scoring pass and scoring five points himself.
  • Conor Murray returned from his injury issues, but Luke McGrath, Kieran Marmion and Devin Toner are likely out for the tournament. Otherwise, CJ Stander will not return in time to face Italy but Garry Ringrose will face a late assessment.

THE PREDICTION

Ireland beat Italy 54-7 last time out, and the team ranked second in the world should have little resistance from a plucky but inferior rugby side, even in Rome. Ireland have to mean business now, and will be aiming for maximum points because if England slip-up, points difference could come into play at the close of this competition. The week’s break means Joe Schmidt need not rest key players, so the Italians will fear the worst at home.

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