Grand Slam favourites Ireland continue their Six Nations campaign in Dublin as they take on an Italy side who have won only once in Dublin, way back in 1997.
- Ireland vs Italy
- 3pm, Sunday, February 11th
- Aviva Stadium, Dublin
No Sexton no problem for Ireland, who bounced back from World Cup disappointment with a stunning away win in France on the opening day of the 2024 Six Nations.
Not only was it an away win in a supposed stronghold of French rugby, but it was the first game following the retirement of their talismanic captain and fly-half Johnny Sexton - not that you would have guessed it from the way they played.
They ran in five tries to hammer the hosts 38-17 in Marseille - though France were reduced to 14 men for almost an hour - and dispel any lingering thoughts that they might take some time to find their feet under a new direction.
Andy Farrell has since suggested there is still room for improvement, so with a fallow week to follow the Italy game, the visitors had better watch out as Ireland look to go from strength to strength.
For Italy it was another case of so near yet so far, having run England close in Rome last week but once again failing to come out on the right side of the result.
They have shown numerous times over the past few years that they can compete in moments of matches against anyone, but remain unable to string together a complete performance that is likely to trouble the best sides in this year’s Six Nations.
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Ireland vs Italy Betting Tips
We’re taking a stab at two try-scoring bets in Dublin on Sunday.
James Lowe to score 2+ tries
Lowe crossed twice the last time Italy travelled to Dublin, and has been a real thorn in the side of any side to come up against Andy Farrell’s side since making his debut four years ago.
The winger wasn’t on the scoresheet in the big win over France last week, but we think he will make up for lost time this week as Ireland run in the tries against Italy. They have amassed at least 50 points on the last four occasions they have played Italy in Dublin in the Six Nations, so expect that to continue.
Over 48.5 points for Ireland, Ireland’s first score to be a try, Nash to score a try
As previously mentioned, Ireland have scored 50 or more points in the last four meetings between the two sides at Dublin in the Six Nations. Italy showed some spirit last week while being narrowly edged out by Italy, but the hosts will pose a totally different question.
Unless they get bogged down early on, we expect Ireland to go all out in pursuit of a bonus point win and are unlikely to consider any early kicks at goal, so even with a much-changed XV they will be looking to cross the whitewash as much as possible.
Calvin Nash has made a fine start to his international career with two tries in two matches, including one on his full debut last week and he should have plenty more opportunities this weekend.
Andy Farrell has made six changes to his side as he rotates the squad for the Italy game, with Caelan Doris captaining for the first time and Peter O’Mahony dropping out of the 23. Craig Casey will partner Jack Crowley in the half-backs while there are four changes overall to the pack.
- Doris (c)
Gonzalo Quesada has made five changes to his side to face Ireland, following defeat to England last weekend. There are wholesale changes to the back row while Stephen Varney comes in at scrum-half and Ange Capuozzo moves to full-back and Tommaso Allan drops to the bench.
- Lamaro (c)
Check out the last five results between Italy and England in the Six Nations below.
|Italy 20-34 Ireland
|Ireland 57-6 Italy
|Italy 10-48 Ireland
|Ireland 50-17 Italy
|Italy 16-26 Ireland