It's the title every team wants to avoid...

After defeat against France on Sunday, Wales are now one game away from going through an entire Six Nations campaign without a win.

That harrowing second-half capitulation against les Bleus in Cardiff followed losses to Scotland, England and Ireland and left Wales staring down the barrel of a first Wooden Spoon since 2003.

Read more: How to watch the Six Nations wherever you are

A game against a reinvigorated Italy under new head coach Gonzalo Quesada represents the last hope for Warren Gatland’s side to salvage something from an otherwise dismal campaign.

Looking at the positives of the situation, Wales are fortunate to still be in with a shot of avoiding the Wooden Spoon.

Had Paolo Garbisi found the target with his late penalty against France, Italy would have claimed a famous scalp. Instead, the draw means the Azzurri remain within the reach of the Welsh.

How can Wales avoid the Wooden Spoon?

After their win over Scotland on Saturday, fifth-placed Italy moved onto seven points, four ahead of Wales in sixth.

That means if Italy avoid defeat, they will remain above Wales. In fact, even if Italy lose they can still hold position in the basement battle.

Italy’s points difference is -37, while Wales’ is -48, which it could come down to depending on how the game plays out.

Wales will avoid the Wooden Spoon if:

  • They beat Italy with a bonus point and deny Italy a bonus point;
  • They beat Italy by more than five points and both sides pick up a bonus point;
  • They beat Italy by more than seven points and neither side earns a bonus point.

The bookies make Italy only the slight favourites to finish above Wales but they will be buoyed by their victory over Scotland, which saw them move ahead of Australia in the world rankings for the first time in history.

Many of the players will also remember the last time the sides met at the Principality Stadium in the 2022 Six Nations. That day a last-gasp try by Edoardo Padovani and a Garbisi conversion earned the Azzurri a first-ever triumph in the Welsh capital.

Wales fans will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself and that the Gatland rebuild can finally gain some momentum.

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