Italy v Scotland, Six Nations 2020: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

Telegraph Sport
Blair Kinghorn celebrates scoring Scotland's fourth try to complete his hat-trick - ACTION IMAGES

What is it?

Italy v Scotland: After a weekend off, we are entering the third round of the 2020 Six Nations - and this particular match is in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico.

How time flies. It is 20 years since Italy sailed into the Six Nations on a wave of optimism by beating Scotland in the opening match of the expanded championship, but when they face the same opponents on Saturday it will be with a very different mindset.

So far have the Azzurri fallen from those heady days that they have not won a Six Nations match in their last 24 attempts. Their last win, also against Scotland, was in 2015.

In total, Italy have won 12 Six Nations matches in 20 years, seven of these against Scotland, two against both France and Wales, and one against Ireland. England are the only team that Italy have yet to beat in the championship.

This year, Scotland and Italy have both yet to win a match in the 2020 Six Nations, the Scots losing to Ireland and England and Italy suffering away defeats to Wales and France.

When is this weekend's match?

Italy v Scotland is on Saturday, February 22.

What time is kick-off?

The match starts at 2.15pm GMT.

What TV channel is it on?

The match is on ITV from 1.25pm. You can also follow all the live action right here when our live blog kicks off.

What are the current standings?

What is the latest team news?

Italy

Lock Alessandro Zanni will return to the Italy side in the only change from the team that started the last game against France.

Italy, who have lost their first two matches, will be hoping to end a 24-game winless run in the competition stretching back four years.

Zanni, who pulled out of the France match shortly before kick-off due to injury, will win his 119th cap, drawing level with former prop Martin Castrogiovanni in second on the all-time list for Italy, behind Sergio Parisse (142).

Dean Budd, who replaced Zanni, will be a replacement against Scotland.

Six Nations 2020: Italy team to face Scotland

Replacements: F Zani, D Fischetti, M Riccioni, M Lazzaroni, D Budd, G Licata, G Palazzani, G Bisegni

Scotland

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made three changes to his starting XV.

Edinburgh forwards Stuart McInally and Ben Toolis and Gloucester centre Chris Harris have been promoted from the bench for their first start of the 2020 campaign in Rome.

Hooker McInally swaps places with Glasgow Warriors' Fraser Brown, who moves to the bench, while second row Toolis comes in for the injured Jonny Gray.

Harris has been selected ahead of Huw Jones, who drops out of the 23-man squad. Sale wing Byron McGuigan takes Harris' place on the bench.

Six Nations 2020: Scotland team to face Italy

Replacements: F Brown, A Dell, WP Nel, G Gilchrist, M Fagerson, G Horne, R Hutchinson, B McGuigan.

What are Italy's results and fixtures?

ROUND ONE

Wales 42 Italy 0

ROUND TWO

France 35 v Italy 22

ROUND THREE

Italy v Scotland.... Stadio Olimpico (Rome).... Saturday, February 22.... 2.15pm GMT.... ITV

ROUND FOUR

Ireland v Italy.... Aviva Stadium (Dublin).... Saturday, March 7.... 2.15pm GMT.... ITV

ROUND FIVE

Italy v England.... Stadio Olimpico (Rome).... Saturday, March 14.... 4.45pm GMT.... ITV

What are Scotland's results and fixtures

ROUND ONE

Ireland 19 Scotland 12

ROUND TWO

Scotland 6 England 13

ROUND THREE

Italy v Scotland.... Stadio Olimpico (Rome).... Saturday, February 22.... 2.15pm GMT.... ITV

ROUND FOUR

Scotland v France.... BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh).... Sunday, March 8.... 3pm GMT.... BBC

ROUND FIVE

Wales v Scotland.... Principality Stadium (Cardiff).... Saturday, March 14.... 2.15pm GMT.... BBC and S4C

What are Telegraph writers saying?

Read Ben Coles' exclusive interview with Italy's Jake Polledri

Speaking to Italy’s Jake Polledri less than 48 hours after he put his body through the wringer against France, the last thing you expect to hear is that his body feels fine. Polledri put in an exhausting shift, making 11 carries and 25 tackles. How on earth could he feel fine?

“I’m not really sure what it is. Some games you feel absolutely dreadful,” he says. “Luckily after the game on the weekend – weirdly because it was against France, who are one of the biggest sides you will play against – I don’t feel too bad.”

The 35-22 loss to France was only Polledri’s fifth Six Nations game, earning his 15th cap for the Azzurri. But the path that lies ahead for the Bristol-born back-row is already clear. As the curtain comes down on Sergio Parisse’s career, with the big finale expected against England on the final day of the Six Nations, a new talisman has emerged in the bulldozing Polledri.

Italy, starting out again under Franco Smith, need long-term foundations to build on, and the Gloucester man fits the bill. (To read the full article, click here)

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Read Oliver Brown on the search for the real Finn Russell

Finn Russell is either a man traduced or a professional malcontent far more dispensable to Scottish rugby than he thinks he is. It was devilishly difficult to tell from the statement made by Gregor Townsend, the Scotland head coach, which on one hand depicted the mercurial fly-half as the rarest of talents, and on the other suggested that he was guilty of misconduct so grave that he had forfeited his right to wear the national shirt. What is evident, though, is that Russell’s grievances with Townsend extend far beyond an ill-advised couple of drinks at the team hotel. This is one saga less of a rift than an irrevocable rupture.

At the heart of it is Russell’s conviction that he has been shown disrespect within the Scotland set-up. For example, he was led to believe that he was not just a crucial player, but a member of Townsend’s much-vaunted “leadership group”. And yet when he arrived on a Sunday evening for the start of Scotland’s Six Nations camp, he was told that the leaders’ meeting had already happened without him. The tensions only heightened when senior players turned on him for ordering one beer too many. One of those unhappy was the captain, Stuart Hogg.

The schism runs deeper still... (To read the full article, click here)

How did last year's Six Nations finish?

What are the odds?

  • Italy to win 14/5
  • Draw 28/1
  • Scotland to win 7/20

Follow the latest odds throughout the tournament.

Six Nations 2020 | Fixtures, results and team news

What's our prediction?

Italy's recent record is abysmal but, in truth, it has not really been a story of decline as they have never been able to get much of a foothold in the tournament.

After beating the Scots in Rome on their debut in 2000 they promptly lost their next 14 matches. Only twice, in 2007 and 2013, have they managed two wins in a campaign. They have collected the wooden spoon in 14 of their 20 campaigns.

Their failure to make any sort of dent in the status quo has led to calls for promotion and relegation, with Georgia - consistently Europe's next-strongest country - seemingly the most likely to make the leap. How this Italy team would love a win or two under its belt to keep the wolves from the door. A home fixture against a Scotland team that has lost its opening two games and is still without star fly-half Finn Russell - who has fallen out with coach Gregor Townsend - looks, as usual, by far the best chance of getting one.

Predicted score: Italy 13 Scotland 23.