Wales travel to Italy for a potential 2023 Wooden Spoon decider

Wales lost to Italy in last year’s Six Nations and if they suffer the same fate in Rome this weekend it will be the fourth time they have gone down to the Azzurri. 

Who could forget that epic encounter in Cardiff last year when Ange Capuozzo‘s scything run set up Edoardo Padovani for a last-gasp try, which, when converted by Paolo Garbisi, snapped Italy’s 36-game losing run in the Six Nations in style.

That 21-20 win had been a long-time coming for Italy, who before the final game of the 2022 championship had failed to register a win since 2015. But things are looking up and Kieran Crowley has got the side fizzing in attack. However, they will be without the injured Capuozzo this year with Tommy Allan deputising at full-back.

Italy pushed reigning Grand Slam champions France mightily close in Round One of the 2023 tournament, even threatening to snatch it at the death before falling to a 29-24 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico.

Related: Wales Six Nations squad – Team to play Italy

Creditable showing against England and Ireland, in particular, have left the Azzurri as many people’s favourites to beat an out-of-sorts Wales who have endured turmoil off the field with the WRU contractual chaos.

Read more: What is the Wooden Spoon?

In what many people see as a Wooden Spoon decider, it is arguably too close to call a winner between the two, but both sides are desperate to pick up some points.

Related: Italy Six Nations squad – Team to play Wales

When did Wales last lose to Italy?

Italy have beaten Wales three times. The most recent of which was last year with a 22-21 win at Principality Stadium.

When have Italy beat Wales in the Six Nations?

The first time Wales lost to Italy came in 2003. The venue was the Stadio Flaminio and Italy won 30-22 courtesy of a 15-point haul from legendary fly-half Diego Dominguez. Giampiero de Carli, Carlo Festuccia and Matthew Phillips were the Italian try-scorers on that day.

Have Wales won the Wooden Spoon after losing to Italy?

Wales scored three tries through Shane Williams, Tom Shanklin and Dwayne Peel but it was not enough to prevent defeat in that Round One encounter in 2003, and after losing their following four games, Wales were left with the 2003 Wooden Spoon.

Wales next lost to Italy in the 2007 Six Nations and only narrowly avoided claiming another Wooden Spoon after finishing fifth above Scotland on points difference. Italy won 23-20 at the Stadio Flaminio thanks to Mauro Bergamasco’s late try.

However, the game ended with a controversial finish as James Hook kicked to the corner under the impression there was time for the lineout before referee Chris White blew for full-time.

Read more: Italy v Wales Six Nations preview

That incident helped lay the foundations of the law change that we have today where a team can always form a lineout even if time is in the red.

There were 15 years between Italy’s second and third victories over Wales but could they record two in successive championships for the first time ever?

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