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France vs Italy: Six Nations kick-off time, team news, lineups, how to watch

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taly are first up for France as the pre-tournament favourites get their quest for a first Six Nations title in 12 years underway.

Plenty are backing Les Bleus to finally claim the championship for the first time since their memorable 2010 Grand Slam triumph after back-to-back near-misses over the last couple of years and two consecutive runners-up berths.

As with classic France teams of the past, Fabien Galthie’s men combine brute strength with irrepressible flair, with their progress, sheer talent and depth clear for all to see with that electric win over the All Blacks in November.

Title rivals Ireland and England both have to visit the Stade de France this year, and the time has never been better for the French to triumph… if they can maintain their discipline, of course.

Click here to follow France vs Italy LIVE at the Six Nations!

Galthie will be absent this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19, so team manager Raphael Ibanez is due to lead proceedings. There have been no further positives among the playing squad as things stand.

It’s a familiar tale of woe for Italy, who head into the latest Six Nations without a victory in the tournament since 2015 and renewed complaints about their position/calls for the implementation of a promotion and relegation system.

While there are bright spots this year under Kiwi Kieran Crowley and they are bound to push one or two teams close for a half or two, it would be a major surprise if the perennial wooden spoon holders were to finish with anything other than five heavy defeats once again.

France vs Italy date, kick-off time and venue

France vs Italy is scheduled to kick-off at 3pm GMT on Sunday, February 6, 2022.

The match will take place at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris.

How to watch France vs Italy

TV channel: In the UK, France vs Italy is being broadcast live on ITV, with coverage beginning at 2:30pm.

Live stream: Fans can also catch the action online via the ITV website or ITV Hub.

Live coverage: You can also keep up to date with all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE match blog.

France vs Italy team news

The great Antoine Dupont – reigning World Player of the Year – captains France from scrum-half after recovering from Covid, with usual skipper Charles Ollivon out injured.

In the second row, Cameron Woki partners Paul Willemse.

France’s stand-in captain Antoine Dupont is the reigning World Player of the Year

/ AFP via Getty Images

A youthful Italy squad includes four potential debutants in starters Tommaso Menoncello and Toa Halafihi and replacements Manuel Zuliani and Leonardo Marin.

Tighthead prop Tiziano Pasquali makes his first appearance since the 2019 World Cup in the front row.

France vs Italy lineups

France XV: 15. Melvyn Jaminet, 14. Damian Penaud, 13. Gael Fickou, 12. Jonathan Danty, 11. Gabin Villiere, 10. Romain Ntamack. 9. Antoine Dupont, 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Julien Marchand, 3. Uini Atonio, 4. Cameron Woki, 5. Paul Willemse, 6. Anthony Jelonch, 7. Dylan Cretin, 8. Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: 16. Peato Mauvaka, 17. Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18. Demba Bamba, 19. Romain Taofifenua, 20. Francois Cros, 21. Maxime Lucu, 22. Yoram Moefana, 23. Thomas Ramos.

Italy XV: 15 – Edoardo Padovani, 14 – Tommaso Menoncello, 13 – Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 – Marco Zanon, 11 – Montanna Ioane, 10 – Paolo Garbisi, 9 – Stephen Varney, 8 – Toa Halafihi, 7 – Michele Lamaro, 6 – Sebastian Negri, 5 – Federico Ruzza, 4 – Niccolo Cannone, 3 – Tiziano Pasquali, 2 – Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 – Danilo Fischetti

Replacements: 16 – Epalahame Faiva, 17 – Ivan Nemer, 18 – Giosue Zilocchi, 19 – Marco Fuser, 20 – Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 – Manuel Zuliani, 22 – Callum Braley, 23 – Leonardo Marin

France vs Italy head to head history and results

These two nations have met on 45 previous occasions, with France winning 42 and Italy just three.

Les Bleus have won all of the last 11 meetings since a 28-13 loss during the 2013 Six Nations, their second straight defeat in Rome.

Italy have never won a Six Nations match in France.

France vs Italy prediction

Italy’s best hope here is that France take a while to get back up to speed after some Covid issues and with head coach Galthie absent.

With Ireland visiting Paris next weekend, the hosts will want to lay down an early marker on opening weekend.

The Azzurri may be able to keep things close early doors before everything spirals out of control and talented France pile up the points.

A huge home win surely beckons.

France vs Italy betting odds

France win: 1/80

Italy win: 35/1

Draw: 100/1

Odda via Betfair (subject to change).

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