As Nick mentioned in yesterday’s Podcast, there’s an outside chance that Wales could end up with the Wooden Spoon – if Scotland beat Ireland and Wales succumb to Italy, the ultimate booby prize will be theirs.
However, I can’t see that happening. Wales have been misfiring in this year’s Championship, but they are by no means the worst team. Sustaining a performance for 80 minutes has been their main problem, but at least they have played some good rugby, unlike one or two other sides I can think of.
The prospect of the Wooden Spoon won’t be a factor in this match, and I’m expecting Wales to play a much more ambitious game with the pressure released. The return of Gethin Jenkins and Mike Phillips will give them a huge boost, and they should help to feed the exciting backline with quick ball.
Italy have certainly been competitive in this year’s tournament, and much more so than expected in the absence of Sergio Parisse. However, they looked a little tired against the French last week, and most of their 20 points were scored once the game was already lost.
They might fancy their chances of another scalp at the Millennium Stadium, but I really don’t think it will happen. Quite the opposite, in fact – I’m going for a comfortable Welsh victory.
My SportGuru prediction is Wales by 24. What do you think will happen?