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Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Saturday, 26 February 2011

Six Nations week three as it happened


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By Ben Dirs

1900: If you fancy listening to more from Lawrence Dallaglio, Jeremy Guscott and Serge Betsen, hit your Red Buttons now - a couple of blinders today, hope you enjoyed it.

England captain Mike Tindall: "I think we could have played better in the first half. When they flooded the midfield we knew we had to change things around but sometimes you have to win ugly and, sometimes, you have to enjoy that. In the first half we were a bit frantic, we didn't really settle into our game. It comes naturally when we get forward momentum, we did that in the second half and it was a bit better. I would have said it was [a try]."

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio: "The key turning point in the game was Foden's try - the teams were level at the time and I felt the team that got its nose in front would stay in front and that proved to be the case. Wilkinson kicked a penalty with his first touch and really kept England in the French half and that was the difference between the sides."

Man of the match Tom Palmer: "It was really tough, I'm absolutely knackered. It was a real challenge but we played pretty well at times. We've got a huge amount of belief in the team, had a great week's training, so we came out today and put some of that into play. In the Second half we raised our game because we didn't really perform in the first half, but in the second half we cut out some of those mistakes, although we still could have been a bit more clinical at times. One more game and maybe we can start talking about the [Grand Slam]."

Full time
England 17-9 France: Fourie gets his mitts on the ball and goes on a rumble but that's the final act of the game - it was a pulsating one, and one that England marginally deserved to win. It wasn't pretty, but no-one can be pretty all the time.

79 mins: Sweet Chariot resounds around Twickenham, the England fans know France aren't going to win this now, especially without the ball. France do win it back but they're in their own half and Dusautoir is eventually bundled into touch with 40 seconds remaining. Man of the match is England lock Tom Palmer.

77 mins: France penalised, Marconnet going in from the side, Wilkinson finds touch on the French 10m line. Driving maul from England, but they don't use it and France are awarded a scrum. We're down to uncontested scrums because England have used up all their props - Fourie, a flanker, is on for Dan Cole.

74 mins: England come again - Wilkinson releases Tindall who charges over, but England were off their feet in the ruck and France clear. Harem-scarem stuff at Twickenham, Wilkinson needs to take control. Box-kick from Care but Traille is under no pressure at all. Away goes Clerc down the left but France have coughed it up.

70 mins: Thompson now with his first throw, England just inside the French 22. England look to drive from the line-out but they butcher it and France win a penalty and clear. Rougerie shows tremendous strength, carrying England bodies through the gain line, but England make the most of a loose pass and Wilkinson shows some magic - Ashton bursting through the line but he gets all confused, looking for the long pass left instead of releasing Care inside. Big chance gone begging.

67 mins: Wilkinson puts up a tester but Damien Traille takes that easily enough. Traille marks and clears and a poor cameraman gets clattered by Cueto, which I wouldn't wish on anyone. France with men over, a four-on-two, but Julien Bonnaire clutches at mid-air. Steve Thompson on for his 64th cap - he equals Brian Moore's record for an England hooker.

64 mins: Yachvili goes off, replaced by Parra at scrum-half. France look to sweep clear from inside their own 22 but they're pinged for a forward pass - not sure about that, but England have a scrum bang in front from just inside the 22. Ashton looks to get into the game, coming off his wing, but Youngs' pass goes awry. Tindall makes strides before Foden's grubber is blocked by Trinh-Duc, who very nearly manages to hack it clear. Youngs off for Care at scrum-half for England...

61 mins: Marconnet on for Domingo in the French front-row. France come again, but England latch onto the loose pass and Easter hoofs it clear. Chance for England as they swing it right. Back England come the other way, but Dan Cole knocks it forward after a scrappy pass from Youngs.

59 mins: England 17-9 France Scrum bang in the middle, options both sides, but the French go left - grubber from Trinh-Duc and Rougerie homes in on it, but is unable to get downward pressure. Big let-off for England, France come away with nothing as Wilkinson clears.

57 mins: Not sure what Trinh-Duc was up to there, attempting a speculative drop-goal only for the ball to ricochet miles back into French territory off Haskell's shin. It's a real slug-fest out there, could still go either way, of that there is no doubt. France go right through Rougerie before Trinh-Duc puts up a Garryowen which Rougerie takes under pressure from Foden - scrum 10m out...

54 mins: France immediately have a chance to reel England back in - penalty from the restart. Yachvili strikes a post and the ball rebounds back into play...

52 mins: PEN England 17-9 France France had an overlap there and it was only a desperate Hartley tackle that prevented the visitors from sweeping clear. Julian Pierre is marmalised by Deacon and doesn't release the ball, penalty to England... replacements all round - Wilkinson for the limping Flood - kick this, and the Toulon man will pass Dan Carter as the highest points scorer in Tests. Mind you, it's no gimme, just shy of 50m... he's done it, he's only gone and done it...

49 mins: A breather at last as Tindall grubbers through for a line-out. I'm sort of guessing the time at the moment, the clock's disappeared from the top of the telly. Yachvili's box-kick goes straight into touch and England have a line-out back on France's 22 - naughty from Palmer from that initial line-out, taking the man out in the air. Hartley with a half-break before Tindall bludgeons into the line. Flood with a nice pick-up off his toes and Hape looks and goes. Ball lost and France bring it clear... breathless stuff...

44 mins: Spot of luck for England in midfield for that try, a bit of a bobble, but that was some hand-off from Foden. And England are in again! Flood with the break, he feeds Youngs inside - and it's time for the Ashton swallow-dive! No try! Flood's pass called forward, and correctly...

Try graphic
42 mins: TRY England 14-9 France That first half just flew by, a real cut and thrust affair, and you have to say France played marginally the better rugby. Bit of composure required from England - someone to put his foot on the ball, to slip into footballese... Flood with the kick-off and England are all over France from the off - Yachvili takes far too long over his clearance kick and it's Palmer with the charge-down... Cueto into the line and he's almost through, but is held up on the line... Youngs snipes and it's Foden into the line, slightly lateral, but he still manages to snake his way through - England try! Flood's missed one at last...

Injured England captain Lewis Moody on BBC Sport: We had a couple of unforced errors and mistakes. The conditions are greasy and we have seen a few dropped balls but it's a proper, full-on Test match and the type of match you get excited about. It's not going quite to plan but Johnno will be calm in the dressing room and will tell them to cut out the penalties and things will be easier."

Half time
Every hit's a biggun at Twickenham this afternoon, this time it's Cueto, on the counter, who gets clobbered. Poitrenaud attacks from the back of a scrum, Chabal shipping to Yachvili who ships it right. That's a France penalty right on the whistle, England not releasing at the tackle, and Yachvili has a kick from way out right for the lead... missed it...

38 mins: Trinh-Duc with the knock-on and England have the advantage, but that's pedestrian from England and the ball goes to ground after a tackle from Dusautoir on Hartley. Not sure what's happened to the hosts here, it's like they've been drugged. Servat on the charge down the right flank but it didn't go five at the line-out - lucky escape for England...

35 mins: Rougerie down injured after being bounced by Tindall, England had a very tight three-on-two there, but Ashton was ahead of the ball-carrier and France have the scrum... take a snapshot of that moment - Yachvili pinged for feeding and it's an England free-kick. Nallet steals and France counter through Clerc. Foden slides back and mops things up, Youngs clears... and it's Chabal with the fumble, although the ball was already out of play.

33 mins: The French contingent raise the decibel level, time for the Twickenham faithful to wrest back control. Not happening for England all of a sudden, passes going awry all over the pitch, although you must not forget we've had plenty of rain in west London.

31 mins: Harinordoqoy with the tap at the line-out and France go right, only for England to turn the ball over. Youngs snipes but that's a poor pass from Flood and Easter knocks forward.

29 mins: Easter with some nifty work at the back of a wheeling scrum, feeding Youngs who manages to boot clear. And it's a knock-on by Poitrenaud, who took his eye off the ball. France have taken the edge at the scrum, they very nearly won one against the head there, but that's steady enough and Flood puts in a tantalising kick. Ashton on the sniff and Poitrenaud is snagged - but it's a penalty to France, and Trinh-Duc smashes the ball clear.

26 mins: England knock-on and Vincent Clerc goes walkabout, slicing across the face of the England defence, only for Poitrenaud to misplace his pass. France win it back and this time they go sniping down the left. Domingo goes on a barrel and sends a couple of England defenders flying before Chabal has a rumble. But that's robust defence from England, pulsating game so far.

23 mins: Bad news for England, Sheridan's off, and it looks like for good. Youngs hesitates when he should have stretched it and Haskell coughs up the ball in the hit. Alex Corbisiero of London Irish, who made his debut against Italy, has replaced Sheridan in England's front row.

21 mins: PEN England 9-9 France Better scrum from France and they earn themselves a penalty - hope referee Clancy's got a spare whistle, hope he's got big lungs. It's Yachvili from 47m out, just left of centre - straight down the middle, like a sweetly-struck drive...

19 mins: PEN England 9-6 France Easter, England's number eight, with hands in the ruck and it's a France penalty - some suggestion from Brian Moore on the telly that it should have been a yellow, but Yachvili slots the penalty nonetheless.

17 mins: PEN Flood England 9-3 France England swing it right - Wood to Hartley to Deacon - before the ball boomerangs back. Momentum gone for the moment, but France are having a profligate few minutes - off-side again, this time Chabal. If old 'Seabass' actually was a seabass, he'd be thrown back in. Flood slots the three-pointer, solid start by England.

14 mins: Youngs with the box-kick from the restart and it's Nallet with the safe take at the line-out. Chabal with an ugly pass and England turn it over... ball kicked through when perhaps it should have been kept in hand and Poitrenaud mops things up.

12 mins: PEN Flood England 6-3 France France go off-side and it's a penalty to England - borderline decision, that, but England will take it... Flood makes it 13 from 13 from 40m out...

10 mins: Looks like England lock Tom Palmer has taken a bump, but it's nothing serious. Shenanigans at scrum-time - Youngs refuses to put the ball in as France get in an early push, before France are pinged for illegal binding. Flood kicks deep into French territory...

9 mins: Frantic start at Twickenham, as France now swing it wide. Clerc straightens before Nallet makes some strides. Harinordoquy feeds Clerc, but that was forward.

6 mins: PEN England 3-3 France France penalty - England looking to move the ball from the restart, Hape receiving it in front of his own sticks and he gets buried. Not releasing and Yachvili levels things up...

4 mins: PEN England 3-0 France Flood makes it 12 out of 12 in this year's championship, the Leicester man slotting over from left-of-centre...

4 mins: Mighty England scrum, France disintegrate and it's an England penalty. The French don't like that and we've got a bit of a barny! Pick the bones out of that, Mr Clancy...

2 mins: Youngs with the offload to captain Tindall. Ball goes left and it's Haskell on the charge. Knock-on from Cueto at the back of the ruck, it's a France scrum and a chance to clear.

1 min: George Clancy of Ireland on the whistle, it's a France kick-off. Tom Wood, England blind-side, takes. Ball kicked back to France and Yachvilli counters. A few phases put together before Trinh-Duc puts Foden under pressure with a high one - the England full-back fields that comfortably before hoofing his clearance down the ground.

1704: Sorry about that Smurfs comment, we've actually got a children's choir in. Lovely stuff. Time for the children to scram - the adults have got some things they want to talk over...

1701: Anthems ahoy, the French one sounds like it's being sung by the Smurfs, which rather takes the edge off it...

1700: Mike Tindall leads England out, Twickenham goes berserk. This one is going to be spicy as all hell. But first, we've got a minute's silence to remember the dead in Christchurch...

1656: Many thanks Orlo, Dirs back in the seat. Five or so minutes to go until kick-off. The French, in case Orlo didn't already tell you, have only won once at Twickenham in the Six Nations era, a one-point victory in 2005. Prince Harry up in the stands in a George Cross flat cap, here come the teams...

1647: Just a quick reminder that Steve Thompson will equal Brian Moore's record of 64 Test caps as an England hooker if he comes off the bench today. Cue clips of Moore playing against France in 1993 when a certain Martin Johnson made his England debut. Johnson didn't look scary at all back then, more of a pussycat. Wouldn't tell him that to his face, though. Right, that's my little stint over with, I'll hand you back to Dirsy...

BBC pundit Brian Moore: "France have come to kick a lot today, the selection of Dimitri Yachvili is key, and rely on their defence. They are dangerous on the counter attack and a lot will depend on whether England can dominate the scrums."

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Twickenham on Twitter: "England players warming up on pitch by lying on backs and wiggling legs in air. Forget the Ash Splash - we've got the Upside-Down Beetle."

1639: On our BBC One telly coverage, we've got pictures of the teams arriving at a soggy Twickenham from a bit earlier. There's Toby Flood walking in with massive headphones on, listening to a bit of Neil Diamond no doubt. And here's Sebastian Chabal, scaring the life out of me even when he's on the telly.

Wales skipper Matthew Rees: "It was very tough. Our defence was great again. Our scrum was not the best today but we held on when we needed it and that won us the game."

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "France can equal their best ever streak of nine straight wins in the Five Nations/Six Nations which was set in 1997-1999 and 2003-2005."

Tony Price on Twitter: "This time next year the Italians will be beating teams regularly at home, shame it will be against the English."

BBC pundit Colin Charvis: "It wasn't exactly a convincing win for Wales. They were in the driving seat for the first half but to be fair Italy had the second half. Wales held on but right to the last minute you don't know what could have happened but they had just enough to hold on and win the game."

1629: My favourite bit of the Italy v Wales match? The bit when referee Wayne Barnes told the Italian pack: "The more you shout, the less you get." I told my four-year-old son exactly the same thing earlier today.

1625: Hello all. Mark Orlovac here. I'm in the chair for the next 20 minutes or so as Dirsy takes a well-earned break before the England-France game. What did you make of that then? Remember you can get involved via text on 81111 or via Twitter with the #BBCSixNations hashtag thingy.

Full time
FULL-TIME: Italy 16-24 Wales Bergamasco looking to offload but it's spilled by Orquera - Wales bring it clear. Italy win the ball back, only for Sgarbi to lose it in the tackle. Italy scrum-half Semenzato has picked up the man-of-the-match award - the Italian broadcasters made that decision. And that's that - cracking game. Italy impressed, Wales not entirely convincing - but a win is a win...

77 mins: Italy break free down the left! Canale streams free and releases Bergamasco, but he's unable to offload under the tackle from Stoddart. Bit of afters on the ground, Italian tempers fraying.

76 mins: Slick line-out from Italy and here's replacement wing Benvenuti with the dart. Twelve phases from Italy but it comes to nil - a midfield mix-up and Stoddart hacks through. Bergamasco mops the mess up but Italy's time is fast running out.

73 mins: DROP-GOAL Hook Italy 16-24 Wales Wales with a few phases now... Williams to Roberts, who straightens things up. Ryan Jones on the pummel, as Hook and Jones drop back into the pocket, and it's Hook who pops one over - the lead eight points, could be the match-winning kick.

71 mins: Off goes Castrogiovanni, Perugini back on; Semenzato replaced by Canavosio behind the scrum. Masi slices a kick straight into touch and promptly hits the deck, clutching his calf - has he been shot? Or caught in a bear trap? Nope, there's nothing wrong with him...

70 mins: ... Orquera's effort hangs and dies in the wind, it's another chance gone. Wales not quite hanging on for dear life, but they are under some intense pressure - 72% territory for Italy in the second half. Great tackle by Stephen Jones on Parisse, taking man and ball. Hook with a poor clearance and Orquera runs it back... popped forward, though, in the pass, Wales given another reprieve...

66 mins: So, Italy still in touch with 15 minutes remaining. Revenge for the Italian pack, Wales shoved off the ball, and replacement fly-half Luciano Orquera demands the ball - he's got a penalty punt from 45m...

64 mins: Rarely will you see an Italian side running lines like this, they really have been a different side from the one monstered by England a fortnight ago. Wales with a wonky throw at the line-out, it's an Italian scrum...

62 mins: Penalty to Italy, Wales taking the man out in the air, and Italy opt for the scrum - 5m out, the packs swivel and Castrogiovanni pops up like a piece of toast - Wales penalty, tremendous defensive scrum...

60 mins: Semenzato returns the favour on Phillips, flattening his fellow number nine, and Italy have a penalty, Bradley Davies coming in from the side. Bergamasco, however, goes for touch...

57 mins: The Welsh scrum creaking like an old coffee table under the weight of the Italian heave and it's a penalty to the hosts. There's a real buzz around the ground now as the home fans sense an upset might be on the cards. Italy string some phases together before Sgarbi steps around Shane Williams. But Wales are away! Shane Williams with the counter and chip over the top but the ball takes a sharp right turn with Hook bearing down on it.

54 mins: The game continues apace - Hook with a couple of silky carries, Byrne clobbered, Wales eventually knock forward. Back to that Parisse try, it was Shane Williams and Stephen Jones who made a hash of things in midfield, Williams largely at fault with a rather casual pass.

Try graphic
51 mins: TRY Parisse Italy 16-21 Wales It's a try, the Italian captain did manage to get that down - tremendous strength from the number eight, he took that ball standing still and had plenty of work to do. Bergamasco misses the conversion from wide out left.

50 mins: McLean skews a Garryowen but Wales are too slow in releasing. The ball is eventually swung left, and then right again, but Wales make a mess of it - poor pass, the ball goes to ground, and it's hacked through. Parisse ends up with the ball on the left flank and it's him against Stephen Jones - he looks to have got that down, but we're going upstairs...

48 mins: Castrogiovanni goes on a barrel, Wales defenders spinning off in all directions. Italy take it right and that's a tremendous offload by Semenzato to Masi, but Wales eventually turn it over. Italy win it back again, string some phases together, but that's a scrum to Wales, for what I do not now - it's chaos out there...

45 mins: Bergamasco from the 10m line, bang centre... ugly old heave, he misses right...

44 mins: Jamie Roberts has taken a bump but he shrugs it off soon enough. Wales give away a penalty for not releasing the man and Italy clear their lines - opportunity lost... and handed back again as Italy lose the line-out... Alun Wyn Jones with the carry and the ball is shipped right. Hook slips the ball to Phillips and the Wales number nine coughs the ball up as if he's a vending machine. Italy come clear, and they win a penalty, Matthew Rees with a scrag round the neck...

41 mins: It's Italy fly-half Kristopher Burton to get the second half under way and it's Phillips with the mighty hoof. Fumble from McLean and it's a scrum to Wales, just outside the Italian 22...

Injured Italy fly-half Craig Gower on BBC One: Italy are starting to get a bit of cohesion. They had to retain the ball because they were kicking it away too much in the first 15 minutes, but they are starting to get a bit of cohesion now. Prop Martin Castrogiovanni has been getting over the gainline and it is good for the backs, who can play off that.

Half time
40 mins: PEN S Jones Italy 11-21 Wales Bad mistake by Italy full-back McLean, getting too greedy with his penalty clearance, and Byrne returns his kick with interest. It's a Wales scrum in the dying embers of the first half - Jamie Roberts crashes into the line and that's a penalty bang in front for Wales as players stray off-side - over it goes from Jones, and what a good first-half that was.

37 mins: PEN S Jones Italy 11-18 Wales Penalty to Italy at scrum-time, no-one seems to have any idea why, and full-back McLean clears his lines. Italy have dodged a bullet, but here comes Mike Phillips on the gallop, trampling opposition scrum-half Semenzato under his hooves. Penalty to Wales in the end, from just inside the 10m line, and Jones sticks it over.

34 mins: Shane Williams drifts into place on the blind-side but the ball is too slow to exit the ruck with Wales on the 5m line. The ball goes left, Shane Williams delays the pass, Byrne goes over - but that was a forward pass. Correct decision, it was marginally crooked.

32 mins: Italy punching from deep and Semenzato darts through the line. Parisse it is with the grubber but that's good cover defence by Wales. Barbieri takes and goes from the rear of a ruck before Burton thinks about the drop-goal but ducks back inside. Turnover ball and Warburton cocks the hammer - maybe he should have gone wide, there, Wales had men over. Tremendous game this...

29 mins: Shane Williams darts left and creates a huge overlap but for whatever reason Stoddart chooses not to give it to the man outside. It's Ryan Jones, though, with a tremendous charge-down, but it's Italy's scrum. Wales shoved off the ball and Wayne Barnes - of England, not Ireland - gives a penalty to Italy.

26 mins: PEN Bergamasco Italy 11-15 Wales Italy running some good lines and flickering into life. Bergamasco receives the ball out on the left flank and cuts inside. Scrum-half Semenzato stretches for the line but is stopped short, before flanker Alessandro Zanni goes flying over the top of the ruck and appears to get the ball down - or does he? Tremendous midair snag by Stoddart, and the ball ends up stuck in the crook of Zanni's arm - no try. The Rome faithful might not like it, but that was the correct decision. However, Italy have a penalty as a consolation, Alun Wyn Jones coming in from the side, and Bergamasco pops it over.

24 mins: Castrogiovanni with the half-break after Italy turn over the ball. Huge hit on Parisse by Roberts but the Italian captain does tremendously well to keep hold of the ball. Penalty to Italy, but it's out of Burton's range and he pops it into touch...

21 mins: The first scrummage of the game results in a number eight pick-up by Ryan Jones but it's a penalty to Italy as Davies gets isolated at Warburton goes in on the wrong side - chance for Italy to clear their lines...

19 mins: Bergamasco feels the heat in his own 22 but manages to slip the pass away, but Burton coughs the ball up and Wales win the scrum. Shane Williams has taken a knock, but it looks like he'll be OK.

18 mins: The Welsh defence looking stout enough and Italy are forced to kick the ball away. Penalty for Italy, though, accidental high tackle on Bergamasco. Bergamasco spills the ball and Wales have space to run it, which they neglect to do. It's all got a bit messy all of a sudden, Wales need to keep it in hand, no need to boot it away...

Try graphic
13 mins: TRY Warburton Italy 8-15 Wales Wales hit back! Straight from the kick-off, Shane Williams scuttles across the Italian midfield before releasing Byrne, who comes crashing through the line. Hook it is on his shoulder, and he flips the ball inside for Warburton to score under the posts. Not a bad start this, Jones with the extras.

12 mins: PEN Bergamasco Italy 8-8 Wales Wales fail to take from the restart - that's the second time that's happened now - and Ryan Jones is looking crook, maybe a rib injury. Burton with the grubber and Stoddart is put under extreme pressure - and gives away the penalty for holding onto the ball. Ryan Jones looks OK after a spot of treatment - Italy's hooker Ghiraldini did the damage - but Bergamasco levels things from wide out left.

Try graphic
7 mins: TRY Stoddart Italy 5-8 Wales Bergamasco missed the extras, but it's Italy with the lead. Hook now with the break, dummying and scything through the Italian back-line. He offloads to Byrne, who shifts it to Morgan Stoddart, who swivels and gets the ball down. Some doubt, it goes upstairs, but it was on the line. Limp kick from Jones, Wales' lead is three.

Try graphic
5 mins: TRY Canale Italy 5-3 Wales Byrne again under the high ball but he's drilled to his core by a Bergamasco hit. AND IT'S A TRY! Wales shifting the ball left, poor pass from Bradley Davies, the ball goes to ground, and Italy centre Gonzalo Canale hacks through and follows up and scores. Davies did his best to make amends, tugging Canale back, but Canale simply had too much pace.

3 mins: PEN S Jones Italy 0-3 Wales Good take by full-back Byrne, under the high ball. Warburton makes a half-break before Jamie Roberts goes barrelling into the line. Wales go left, they go right, and eventually Italy give up the penalty for not releasing the player on the floor...

2 mins: Good take by full-back Byrne, under the high ball. Warburton makes a half-break before Jamie Roberts goes barrelling into the line. Wales go left, they go right, and eventually Italy give up the penalty for not releasing the player on the floor...

1 min: Wayne Barnes of Ireland toots his whistle, we're under way - James Hook kicks off, Italian forward underneath it...

1429: ... anthems done and dusted, we've now got a moment's silence to remember those killed by the earthquake in Christchurch...

1424: Shane Williams reckons this might be his final Six Nations - it's World Cup and out, as far as the 34-year-old is concerned. Although he did drop that classic old boxer's line - "never say never". "We struggle against teams who play a high-paced game, says Italy coach Nick Mallett. Oh, that's not good. Here come the teams...

Wales: Byrne, Stoddart, Hook, Roberts, Williams, S. Jones, Phillips, James, Rees, Mitchell, B. Davies, A. Jones, Lydiate, Warburton, R. Jones. Replacements: Hibbard, Yapp, Thomas, Turnbull, Knoyle, Priestland, Halfpenny.

Italy: McLean, Masi, Canale, Sgarbi, Bergamasco, Burton, Semenzato, Perugini, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Dellape, Geldenhuys, Zanni, Barbieri, Parisse. Replacements: Festuccia, Lo Cicero, Bernabo, Vosawai, Canavosio, Orquera, Benvenuti.

1413: Some more stats to throw at you - Stephen Jones will move alongside Martyn Williams in second place on Wales' all-time appearance list with 98 caps; Shane Williams needs two tries to equal the championship record of 24 set by Scotland's Iain Smith; Warren Gatland equals Alan Davies' record of 35 matches in charge of Wales.

1403: My social networking spies tell me Twitter's done in momentarily. I'm sure they've got their best men and women working on it. Meanwhile, just have a chat or something, like we used to do in the olden days. I say olden days, I mean a couple of years ago.

1352: Fly-half Stephen Jones has promised "high-risk, high-reward" rugby today, in the classic Welsh style, but Warren Gatland's side might find that easier said than done against an Italian side smarting from their mauling at the hands of England a fortnight ago. It's Jones's 98th cap today, by the way, with James Hook shifted to centre because of a midfield injury crisis.

1345: A reminder that TV coverage starts at 1400 GMT on BBC One. You can also watch it online and on the Red Button, and you even have a choice of noise - you can either stick with the regular TV commentary team, opt for the ref's mic, or switch to the boys from BBC Radio Wales. And don't forget to get your texts and tweets in...

1336: And so, to the Stadio Flaminio, where - and you've guessed it - the early-arriving fans are bathed in pre-spring sunshine. Italy have played Wales 17 times, with Wales leading 14-2, with one draw in Cardiff in 2006. Last season, Wales ran out comfortable 33-10 winners at home. Italy's two wins have come in Rome, however, in 2003 and 2007, while only a late Tom Shanklin try spared Wales embarrassment in 2009.

1330: Good day everyone. It's what you might call a pivotal day in this year's Six Nations, with Wales, fresh from their pumping of Scotland a fortnight ago, first up against Italy in Rome at 1430 GMT. Then, at Twickenham at 1700 GMT, we've got 'Le Crunch' (whatever that means) - England v France, in what many people are billing as the championship decider. It's likely to be pretty good, so best you stick around...

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see also
Italy 16-24 Wales
26 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Italy v Wales photos
26 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Johnson laughs off Lievremont barb
21 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
England 17-9 France
26 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
England-France is 'title decider'
14 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Sheridan back as Moody misses out
24 Feb 11 |  English
England 59-13 Italy
12 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 6-24 Wales
12 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 22-25 France
13 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations table
10 Aug 06 |  Tables

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