Italy vs France Match Preview
Rome plays host to Italy and France
2011 player of the year Thierry Dusautoir will make his return
A Sunday afternoon in Rome will set the scene for an interesting match to finish the first round of the 2013 6 nations.
Both France and Italy are expected to put on a show as possibly the most dynamic sides in Europe meet.
It has been a long time coming but Italy have begun to shine on the world stage and with their current expansive nature on show against the unpredictable French, this could well be the match of the round.
It may seem far fetched to claim an Italian victory, but the last time France visited Rome they were humbled in front of a delirious crowd. Tears flowed in a moment of glorious rugby magic.
It should not be the case again with France sending a potent side over to the boot shaped country. Thierry Dusautoir returns from injury and with the in-form Freddie Michelak climbing his way back into the no.10 jersey this is a side that will cause some damage.
It's not a straight forward prediction but France are supposed to win and should be England's main rival for the 2013 title. France to win.
Italy:to be confirmed
France:15 Yoann Huget, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé (c), 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Yannick Forestier
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud
Italy vs France Match Report
Deja vu as Italy humble France
Italy have done it again
France have had their 6 Nations campaign thrown into disarray after Italy claimed the spoils in Rome on Sunday.
Italy managed to absorb relentless French attack just as they did in 2011 to claim a 23-18 victory.
Sergio Parisse benefited from some Luciano Orquera magic to get Italy off to a great start with a special try early. Louis Picamoles hit back for France but Orquera pushed Italy further in front with a drop goal and penalty for the hosts to lead 13-5.
A Benjamin Fall effort got France back in the lead before the break as both sides took oranges.
Orquera was the man again in the second half, setting up Martin Castrogiovanni for another try to get the Italians back in front and a Kris Burton dropgoal heaved pressure on France to get a try.
They failed in their quest leaving Italy delirious with joy once again.
Tries: Parisse, Castrogiovanni
Cons: Orquera 2
Drop: Orquera, Burton
Yellow card: Giazzon (79th minute)
Tries: Picamoles, Fall
Pens: Michalak 2