2021 Six Nations Championship – Italy vs France Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Italy vs France taking place? Saturday 6th February, 2021 – 14:15

Where is Italy vs France taking place? Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Where can I get tickets for Italy vs France? Visit this link for ticket information

What channel is Italy vs France on? ITV

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

THE TEAM NEWS

ITALY

  • Italy failed to score any points at all in the 2020 Six Nations despite occasionally showing flutterings of promise offensively and the closest they came to a result was a 35-22 defeat in Paris.
  • The Azzurri entered the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup with a point to prove as Georgia continue to knock on the Six Nations door but a covid-19 outbreak in the Fijian camp meant that a default win stopped them meeting the Georgians in the play-offs.
  • Head coach Franco Smith has picked an inexperienced and experimental side for this first competitive match since a defeat to Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup with an average age of 24.

Italy: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Luca Sperandio, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Juan Ignacio Brex, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 David Sisi, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Cherif Traore

Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Giosuè Zilocchi, 19 Niccolò Cannone, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Maxime Mbanda, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Carlo Canna

FRANCE

  • France were the surprise package of the 2020 Six Nations, beating England 24-17 on the opening weekend as one of their four victories, though they fell just short of the title on points difference to Eddie Jones’ side.
  • Les Bleus accrued the most points in the group stages of the Autumn Nations Cup to set-up a statement play-off final against ENgland, where they fell just short in an incredible golden point game.
  • Brice Dulin, Gabin Villiere and Matthieu Jalibert are the only players starting this first match against Italy that faced England in their last competitive match, though the France team is a strong one and their ability to rotate now shows a system is working behind the scenes.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Arthur Vincent, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille

Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Anthony Jelonch, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Louis Carbonel, 23 Damian Penaud

THE PREDICTION

Italy managed to squeeze in 22 points against France in Paris last February in what turned out to be their best performance of a dismal 2020 Six Nations tournament but the French were fairly sloppy that evening and improved exponentially from there on. Reaching the play-off final of the Autumn Nations Cup was a big milestone in this exciting young team growing up into genuine SIx Nations contenders and they will be determined to make a huge score here considering they agonisingly lost last season’s title on points difference alone. It remains to be seen how much Italy can bring to the table this season but Les Bleus are a confident outfit and can cover -21 in victory when in Rome.

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