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Live Reporting

Mike Henson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Rightio, that is your lot for today.

    Two bona-fide thrillers and one absolute dud this weekend. Well, two out of three ain't bad as Meatloaf sang.

    And "ain't bad" is understating the prospect of the final weekend to come. Italy v Wales, Scotland v Ireland, England v France - all lined up back-to-back on the BBC.

    We'll see you there.

  2. Post update

    Jeremy Guscott

    Former England centre on BBC One

    George Ford

    "George Ford is the real deal. He is such a good footballer, has such a good understanding of the game. He is smart enough to know he can't take on an 18 stone forward who's about to smash him.

    "He is just a smart rugby player who in my opinion has every gift a rugby player at number 10 should have."

  3. Post update

    Jeremy Guscott

    Former England centre on BBC One

    "I think England will be less favoured now to win the Six Nations, given the France scoreline here. I would back England at home against anybody,. If they find the accuracy they did in the second half against Wales they will be fine.

    "At home with the Championship at stake, with the pressure, I expect this side to do it because they have been in this kind of pressurised position before."

  4. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "Scotland won't fear Ireland. They play against them in the Pro 12. They will have a crack but whether will be good enough I don't know. They have a lot of injuries. It doesn't feel like they should be bottom though. They haven't been whitewashed.

    "Some years they have been and it feels like they should have been. This time it doesn't and I think they will get a result soon, hopefully at the weekend."

  5. Post update

    Keith Wood

    Former Ireland hooker on BBC One

    On Ireland's final game in Scotland on Saturday:

    "I don't think Scotland have that full level of strength that was shown by Wales but they will be fearful too, because Scotland have been close but haven't quite got there this year. Scotland will have their day soon and it could be next week, so Ireland will have to focus."

  6. Post update

    Wales 23-16 Ireland

    Jeremy Guscott

    Former England centre on BBC One

    "It will be interesting to see how Wales recover from the Ireland game in the space of week. They will be battered and horribly bruised and as a team that will be difficult to recover from in seven days."

  7. Post update

    Italy 0-29 France

    Stuart Lancaster said he had to call an early end to a probables v possibles training match in the England camp earlier this week because it was so ferocious.

    Maybe the confidence-building friendly set up by Philippe Saint-Andre in midweek set France on course for today's win.

    mathieu bastareaud
    Nicolas Mas
  8. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    "Italy have a monumental task against Wales next week. It is going to be a battle and extremely difficult, there is no getting away from that. It is a big challenge but it is not an impossible task to keep that Welsh team at bay."

  9. Post update

    The discussion on the BBC red button has switched to Ireland and whether they should have been better against Wales.

    Keith Wood's domain this one. "Ireland are pretty much a team in transition. They had a horribly injury list at the start of the Six Nations, they put a gameplan in place to get over the first couple of hurdles, but it didn't work yesterday.

    "They're not the most exciting but they're not trying to be. They are trying to build momentum because this is a huge year for the squad. There is a belief that this could be the opportunity for Ireland to properly achieve at a World Cup.

    "But I do think Ireland could have showed more against Wales."

  10. Post update

    Keith Wood

    Former Ireland hooker on BBC One

    "Philippe Saint-Andre has escaped for a few days longer. Everyone I've spoken to in the French set-up says there will be no change of coach this close to the World Cup. France still expect to do really well at the World Cup. They think they can deliver."

  11. Post update

    Andrea Masi

    Italy's Andrea Masi cuts a suitably dejected figure as he speaks to BBC One:

    "We were under-pressure with our set piece and struggled controlling the ball, but credit to a really well-organised French team.

    "We had good confidence going into the game. We played a really passionate yet composed game against Scotland. But today we struggled controlling the ball on set-piece and when you give the ball to the French team so easily it is normal to come under pressure.

    "We need a reaction against Wales next week. The last two years we have played in Rome we haven't played our best rugby and our supporters deserve a better show from us. We must stay positive and believe in ourselves, believe that we are able to play the type of good rugby we did against Scotland."

  12. Post update

    The pundits on the BBC red button are talking about the possibility of bringing other countries into the Six Nations, and of a promotion/relegation system.

    "I'm a bit nervous talking about that given where Scotland are in the table at the moment," says Andy Nicol.

    Keith Wood says: "I think it's a bit premature at the present moment in time, but if there are teams moving up - like Italy did in the 1990s - then they should get the chance to play two or three big games a year. That should happen now to teams like Georgia."

    Jeremy Guscott's view? "Italy have beeaten everyone in the Six Nations other than England so they should be allowed to stay in. It is incredibly premature to suggest they shouldn't be involved in it."

  13. Post update

    Keith Wood

    Former Ireland hooker on BBC One

    "Italy had two very kickable penalties to go 6-0 up and didn't. Suddenly because they didn't do this, the pressure builds on Italy, and it gives France encouragement - and the game went from there."

  14. Post update

    French coach

    More from French coach Philippe Saint-Andre:

    "The pressure I'm under is part of the job. I know this. I'm just very pleased with today.

    "We won and that is good for the morale and the spirit of my team."

    Asked about Saturday's game against England at Twickenham, the French coach said: "It is a huge game for us. England are always motivated so it is never an easy game.

    "But there is no pressure on us. We will go there and see what happens during the game."

  15. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "France's Scott Spedding is a big powerful full-back who has counter-attacked really well. I have been very impressed with him."

  16. Post update

    Italy 0-29 France


    French full-back Scott Spedding, one of the better players on show today, tells BBC One "it has been a frustrating few weeks" in the French camp.

    "We spoke during the week and said when we get opportunities let's try and exploit them. Everyone worked hard today," Spedding says.

    Asked about the standard of the game, Spedding replied: "The conditions complicated it. The field was wet, the ball was slippery - and on top of that there was a lot of pressure on our team, deservedly so, from our public because we hadn't been up to scratch.

    "We can take this win in to the England match now. It does our confidence the world of good. We can take a lot from it and now we have nothing to lose at Twickenham."

  17. Get involved #bbc6nations

    John Richards: ‏A team playing with confidence will put 60 points against italy in 6 nations. Wales anyone? AWFUL game in Rome

    Lustig: What an awful game. Both Wales and England should score a hatfull next week, unless there's an improvement in those teams.

    Michael Newbury: ‏And France coach St Andre survives and probably shouldn't...

  18. Post update

    Italy 0-29 France

    Winning French coach Philippe Saint-Andre on BBC One: "It was an OK performance after two tough weeks. We were strong in the contact area, had a good set-piece, and scored two good tries. Of course we can do better but after what happened two weeks ago - our result against Wales, and Italy beating Scotland - we are pleased with the result."

  19. Get involved #bbc6nations

    BBC Wales Gareth Rhys Owen on Twitter: "On behalf of the BBC, the rugby fraternity and humanity as a whole may I apologise for the last 80minutes of rugby."

  20. Full-time

    Italy 0-29 France

  21. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "France's Mathieu Bastareaud has had the ball five or six times since he came on and he hasn't passed it once. The statistics show he has made two metres - and yet he's scored a try."

  22. Try

    Italy 0-29 France - Mathieu Bastareaud (con: Plisson)

    Mathieu Basteraud celebrates his try

    The French juggernaut gets up to speed and, via a collision with the post protector, is over from close range.

    Plisson slots with ease and that, thank goodness, is that.

  23. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "Look at that statistic - 37 handling errors. That sums up the game. It's one every two minutes."

  24. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    France are camped up on the Italy five-metre line and, awarded the penalty, Thierry Dusuatoir opts for a scrum.

    They have been dominant in the last few setpieces and will surely be going for the old-school pushover.

  25. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "Gael Fickou was one of the most exciting players when he burst onto the scene a few years ago. But where has all that ambition gone? He is just not being allowed to show it in this French team."

  26. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    I think this game has lulled the watching crowd into a stupor. No other reason why people are still hanging around and not beating the traffic.

    It has been truly dire, directionless stuff.

    England and Wales will both fancy their chances of racking up big scores next weekend.

  27. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "If you made a sci-fi movie of this game I'm not sure the plot would be believable with the amount of mistakes we've seen."

  28. Replacement

    Italy 0-22 France

    Feel that tremor? Mathieu Bastareaud is on in the France centres. Damien Chouly is going to get a run at number eight in place of Loann Goujon.

  29. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Giovanbattista Venditti forms a ruck for Italy

    Matthew Newton: 6nations is an amazing tournament and expect a thrilling finale next weekend. However this game is awful

  30. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "That was some really good scrambling defence by France, aggressive in the counter-rucking. They'll be thinking 'right, let's keep our defence in tact. Let's win this to zero'."

  31. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    No cigar.

    France turn over the ball and clear their lines. The Stadio Olimpico crowd have bought some of the most expensive tickets in sport if you consider value for money.

  32. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    Penalty Italy. Again Sergio Parisse instructs his fly-half to send play into the corner and set up another line-out.

  33. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    Italy win a penalty on the France 22m and Sergio Parisse does the only honourable thing, telling Luciano Orquera to kick into the corner.

    They have got the maul rumbling off the line-out as well...

  34. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    Referee JP Doyle at the Italy v France match

    "Nothing has gone right for Italy today. The poor referee can't even play advantage because the mistakes are so blatant. Those mistakes lead to a lack of continuity and a lack of ability to build the phases. It causes you to lose metres and lose ground."

  35. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    There are adverts popping up on the LCD advertising hoardings attempting to flog some tickets for Wales' visit to Rome next weekend.

    That is a tough sell considering the hosts' limp performance today.

  36. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    Under pressure five metres from their own line, Italy are given a get out of jail card by JP Doyle who rules that Rabah Slimani has engaged too early.

  37. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    "It doesn't make good viewing. If you were the Italian coach you would be extremely frustrated. You practice all week but the execution of individual skills is just not there today."

  38. Post update

    Italy 0-22 France

    Edoardo Gori releases from the ruck for Italy

    Italy's play has no urgency, their runners are having little impact and there is too little time anyway. This game is not going to salvage itself with a grandstand finish.

  39. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "The last 20 minutes of this game may well have a big bearing on the outcome of the entire Six Nations, If France play well in the last 25 minutes they will go to Twickenham with a lot of confidence - and that could cause problems for England and their hopes of winning."

  40. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Mr Tod: Surely a 4 way fight for 6 nations, France win by 30 points today, then beat England, plus Italy win and Scotland win = France Champions

    Matthew: It would be outrageous if Wales, Ireland and England all lose next week for France to become champions

    Carl Cymrus Blog: If France beat Italy well and Italy and Scotland beat Wales and Ireland will they have a shot at the title vs England

    There is a thought...

  41. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "France are now more than three converted tries in front of Italy. But the way Italy are playing they aren't going to get one, never mind three."

  42. Penalty

    Italy 0-22 France - Plisson

    Jules Plisson has looked the coolest cucumber on the pitch since his arrival. A level-headed slot puts his side more than three converted scores beyond Italy.

  43. Post update

    Italy 0-19 France

    Some jeers in the crowd and you can understand their sentiment. A penalty on the Italy 10m and France have opted to kick rather than chance their arms with a bit of running rugby. Shame.

  44. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "Italy have got some good set plays but France are just reading them very well. Italy are doing a lot of nice runs but France are there to stop it, often getting three defenders on one player."

  45. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    "Benjamin Kayser has come into the scrum for France and suddenly, after Italy dominated the first couple of scrums of the match, France have absolutely dominated the last couple. It's a complete turnaround."

  46. Post update

    Italy 0-19 France

    The France scrum is suddenly looking like the raw-meat eating beast that we are more accustomed to.

    They send the France pack into a tailspin with a large shovel of heave and JP Doyle awards the penalty the visitors' way.

  47. Replacement

    Italy 0-19 France

    Dario Chistolini and George Biagi have done enough for Italy. They trot off to be replaced by Quintin Geldenhuys and Lorenzo Cittadini.

    France make changes as well with Nicolas Mas called back to the bench and Rabah Slimani shoved out into the fray.

  48. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    Yoann Maestri celebrates his opening try for France

    "Finally, at last, a passage of play that went through a number of phases with a bit of pace, great passing and knowing where the support is. Spedding set it up. His did the same first half with one burst. But this time there was good support. It was a great try. Having played so poorly France are now 19-0 up, and this could get very messy for Italy."

  49. Try

    Italy 0-19 France - Yoann Maestri (con: Plisson)

    Yoann Maestri goes over for France's first try

    The game's first moment of genuine quality delivers its first try.

    Scott Spedding spotted a hole between two lumbering forwards and disappears upfield in a flash. A thumping cover tackle from Andrea Masi briefly holds up the France momentum, but when the ball is recycled back wide, Yoann Maestri is doing some classic second-row lurking out on the wing.

    The lock gallops over and Plisson is sharp off the tee again.

  50. Post update

    Italy 0-12 France

    Fabulous break from Scott Spedding, carving through....

  51. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Stefano Rocchio: Surely this second half can only get better... Both sides have been appalling! ForzaItalia

    Funny you should say that...

  52. Post update

    Italy 0-12 France

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "It is a shame for Lopez and for France that he's had to go off. He made one wonderful break in the first half and looked like the one player who could spark this game into life."

  53. Post update

    Italy 0-12 France

    By the way does anyone else think of flame haired pop starlet La Roux every time the commentators mentions France flanker Bernard.

    They don't look too dissimilar either.

    Bernard La Roux and La Roux
  54. Penalty

    Italy 0-12 France - Plisson

    The latest fly-half into the fray and Jules Plisson makes a solid first impression, thumping a good strong kick between the sticks to take his side out into a healthy 12-point lead.

  55. Kick-off

    Italy 0-9 France

    Back up and running and it is France replacement Jules Plisson who get the first touch. He is on for Camille Lopez who has twanged his leg.

  56. Post update

    The pundits on BBC One are arguing about where the 2023 World Cup should be, with Ireland and Italy vying to host it.

    Keith Wood and Carlo Del Fava are asked to put forward arguments on behalf of their countries.

    Wood says the Irish would "love it" and that the country deserves it given their standing in world rugby, while Del Fava bangs on about how it would see rugby really take off in his country and also - most important this - how good Italian food is.

    Jeremy Guscott is asked for his opinion. Stood next to Wood and Del Fava he says: "I'd be happy with either." Fence-sitter.

  57. Post update

    Italy 0-9 France

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    "Italy's bad kicking is really costing them. They should have been 6-0 up. It's getting to the point where whoever kicks the most goals in training during the week kicks at the weekend because something needs to be done.

    "In Test matches you need to go forward and apply pressure but because they are missing their kicks they can't do it.

    "I'm very disappointed with Italy today. There isn't the same pressure or edge."

  58. Post update

    Italy 0-9 France

    Jeremy Guscott

    Former England centre on BBC One

    Camille Lopez with a loose kick for France

    "Lopez is indifferent for France at best. You want a general at 10 doing the right thing. His kicking has been loose and aimless and his forwards must be wondering why he's been selected."

  59. Half-time stats

    Italy 0-9 France


    Tackles made: 53-31

    Tackles missed: 5-0

    Turnovers won: 2-4

    Penalties conceded: 55-5

    Carries: 39-49

    Offloads: 3-3

    Metres made: 124-282

  60. Post update

    Italy 0-9 France

    Jeremy Guscott

    Former England centre on BBC One

    "We love to see great rugby but sometimes you have to play to the conditions and play smart. France haven't done that, and neither have Italy"

  61. Post update

    Italy 0-9 France

    Keith Wood

    Former Ireland hooker on BBC One

    "You have a small element of sympathy for the players for the first 10 minutes because it's very greasy conditions. But the manner in which the teams are playing ... they are not holding onto the ball. You don't play slip passes or have the ball under one arm when the weather is like it is."

  62. Post update

  63. Half-time

    Italy 0-9 France

    And that is your lot. Looking forward to see what the BBC One boys have scraped together for a half-time highlights reel.

  64. Penalty

    Italy 0-9 France - Spedding

    At the resulting scrum, France get a bit of steam up and it is enough for JP Doyle to raise his arm their way.

    Camille Lopez is limping a bit so Scott Spedding makes his comeback.

    He lands with space to spare on either post.

  65. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "It's almost getting beyond a joke. I'm sorry to keep saying this but there are so many mistakes. There was an opportunity for Italy then. I thought they'd go through a couple more phases, it was a great opportunity, and then yet again there was another error."

  66. Post update

    Italy 0-6 France

    Italy run turnover ball out of their own 22m, but the inevitable handling error kills the growing excitement in the stands stone dead.

    They looked like they had the right idea in the opening 10 minutes when they just booted for field position at every opportunity.

  67. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Four Balls: How did @Scotlandteam lose to both of these sides?

    MrBounce: ‏I think I had better handling when I was playing Loosehead for my schools Under 12 C team...

    Ed Moss-Ward: This has been the scrappiest 30 minutes of 6 Nations rugby in years. If someone gets the basics right, they'll win

  68. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "That was a great run from Lopez but what happens next? A mistake. It sums up the game. You can see the frustration in the faces of everyone, especially the players. Then Spedding makes a great break and what happens? Lo and behold it's another mistake."

  69. Post update

    Italy 0-6 France

    Camille Lopez on a lovely, mazy little run from broken play, whizzes past a trio of defenders. His offload rebounds forward off the knee of Gael Fickou though and the opening is gone.

    Mathieu Bastareaud grimaces on the bench.

  70. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "France have got their noses in front. I'm not sure they deserve it. They've just kicked the two opportunities they've had, whereas Italy have missed their two. But there's not been much excitement in this game."

  71. Penalty

    Italy 0-6 France - Lopez

    The way that everyone else is playing, Camille Lopez looks like Paul Thorburn and Rob Andrew's illegitimate offspring.

    He slots and that could be a match-winning margin the way this one is going.

  72. Post update

    Italy 0-3 France

    Francesco Minto burrows in the side of a ruck and Camille Lopez calls for the tee. The France fly-half is one from one and this is in front, if back on Italy's 10m...

  73. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    France's Nakaitaci tackles Venditti of Italy

    "It has been so scrappy. There has been no continuity and every phase has ended with a mistake by both sides. There are opportunities. The team that can control the ball, get their game together, and cut out the mistakes will win this. There have been so many handling errors."

  74. Post update

    Italy 0-3 France

    Woeful. Luciano Orquera opts to kick for the corner from a decent penalty position, but doesn't get close to landing it. That is straight into France hand and the ball is returned with interest.

    Italy line-out but back behind where Orquera kicked from...

  75. Get involved #bbc6nations

    The Pen: this game is dreadful. I'm sorting through my clothes now to keep myself awake!

    ScottishRugbychange: ‏Poor game so far. The worst part is both teams beat Scotland

  76. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Former England international Will Greenwood: With France so bad why is it viewed as "bullish" for @EnglandRugby to be considered #rbs6nations favourites?

  77. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "The first three kickers failed but Lopez knocked it over and France get a lead they barely deserve. It has been error strewn but they have their noses in front."

  78. Penalty

    Italy 0-3 France - Lopez

    The fourth man to take on a shot at goal and, pick a cuddly toy, because finally we have a winner.

    Camille Lopez lands one from halfway inside the Italy half to put France ahead. This match has been stinking out the weekend so far though.

  79. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    "Italy just need to raise their intensity. I think they've identified it is not a French team completely in form or on their game and they need to take advantage and make their way down the field."

  80. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "This is just a comedy of errors from both sides. There are mistakes every phase."

  81. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    Possession is turning over at a startling rate. Neither side can string more than a handful of passes together. Sebastien Tillous-Borde is charged down before Luca Morisi's bulleted inside pass is spilled forward.

  82. Post update

    England fans at the France v Italy match in Rome

    Lads, lads, lads. How?

    Wrong flight dates I could just about understand, but wrong tickets?

    The Italian for England is Inghilterra. It is not rocket science.

  83. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    "It is a bit greasy underfoot, the ball is wet and bouncing about. The players have to adjust their line of running and stand closer to their inside man."

  84. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    Italy's front row have forced up their French counterparts at scrum time. It is like two tectonic plates coming together down there. At the reset a rattled Sebastien Tillous-Borde's put-in is crooked and Italy have a free-kick.

  85. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    Camille Lopez kicks for France

    "It's certainly not been a kicking masterclass. Three kickers, none have been successful. Can we have somebody else up next time please?"

  86. Missed penalty

    Italy 0-0 France

    No need for the scorers to sharpen their pencils yet. Scott Spedding gives it a wallop, but the flags refuse to rise as his kick drops wide.

  87. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    France will now take a pot-shot at goal. Scott Spedding has a lot to do for this penalty, back on the Italy 10m and out at the angle.

  88. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "When I saw this fixture I expected the sun to be out and for there to be plenty of fast open rugby. Instead it is freeing cold, wet and the first 20 minutes have been full of mistakes. It is 0-0 and it really feels like a 0-0."

  89. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    JP Doyle is doing the French the courtesy of issuing his commands in some pigeon Franglais. Not many referees bother with that, except for show-off Alain Rolland, who is half French anyway.

    Not a whole lot going on on the pitch. Bits and piece in midfield, pockmarked by errors.

  90. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Nathan Cutcliffe: ‏Why can no Italian kick a rugby ball ! Jesus !

    IG: Italy's goal kicking is dreadful

  91. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "I think Luciano Orquera is the best kicker of the three. The crowd were celebrating, but they were celebrating too early and the ball bounced back out into French hands."

  92. Missed penalty

    Italy 0-0 France

    Luciano Orquera gets an immediate chance to prove he can cut the mustard off the tee.

    He gets out a hefty club to wallop for the sticks after Sergio Parisse is taken out in the air. It has the legs, but a late bit of hook takes it onto the post and out.

  93. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "Tommaso Allan was clearly not comfortable, you can see that by taking one look at him. He's limping, he couldn't have carried on. The good thing is that normally when you get down to a third-choice player coming on you'd think there would be a drop in standard, but I don't think that is the case here."

  94. Replacement

    Italy 0-0 France

    Italy are down to the third fly-half in less than 24 hours. Tommaso Allan is hobbling to the sidelines having failed to recover from his hamstring tweak. Luciano Orquera is on.

  95. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    Italy and France go up for the lineout

    "The ball is very wet and it is affecting the handling. What will go a long way to determining who wins this game is the team that controls the ball here today."

  96. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    It is a bar of soap out there. France in particular are looking jittery with the ball in hand. Another knock-on, another scrum and Italy are winning the set-piece.

  97. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Al Kitching: ‏The boys in the Edison family have all done really well, haven't they?

    An illuminating tweet there Al...

  98. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    Italy are playing the percentages very cannily. A dribbler of a kick in behind the France line forces Maxime Mermoz to fly-hack into touch and concede a line-out on his own 22m line.

  99. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    Luca Morisi weathers a tackle

    "It is a good promising opening passage from Italy. What they are doing really well is securing set-pieces. That allows you to apply a lot of pressure on the opposition and you can march your way down field."

  100. Post update

    Andy Nicol

    Former Scotland scrum-half on BBC One

    "It was when goalkicking in practise that Tommaso Allan had a strain in his groin, so maybe he wasn't 100% confident taking that penalty. He certainly didn't look comfortable."

  101. Missed penalty

    Italy 0-0 France

    Deary, deary.

    Tommaso Allan sends his kick high, wide and not very handsome. He pulled his hamstring in warm-up and is wincing again.

    Nothing wrong with the contact on the ball, but that twinge must be preying on his mind.

  102. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    The rain is pelting down in Rome, but Leonardo Ghiraldini is pin-point with his line-out throw, picking out Sergio Parisse in the middle of the queue on the France 22m. France halt the driving maul at source, but Bernard Le Roux strays offside at the breakdown to give Italy a very kickable penalty.

  103. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    Tommaso Allan puts boot to ball again, this time a hanging crossfield kick for his outside backs to chase. It is a decent kick, but a less convincing chase.

    France wing Noa Nakaitaci is able to claim, spin and sprint down the line and upfield. Classic corner-flagging from Sergio Parisse means the number eight can cover the break and Nakaitaci makes it easy for him, running straight into the hulking torso.

    A step off the left foot doesn't look like it is in Nakaitaci's locker.

  104. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Leonardo Ghiraldini is tackled by Nicolas Mas

    Dai Trembath: Italia Italia all the way

    Ed Ruane:This is Italy's big chance.

    Matt Gibbs: Italy to win by two points.

  105. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    Tommaso Allan hoists a snowy up-and-under, but that is overcooked and Scott Spedding is able to stay rooted on the ground to claim the mark in his own 22m.

  106. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Will Hawkins: The Italian team looks fired up if their singing is anything to go by.

    marc: Come on Italy ! Up the azzura!

    ianbils: ‏International rugby union at its best is intensely gladiatorial.

  107. Post update

    Italy 0-0 France

    Irishman JP Doyle is the man in the middle and Italy's Tommaso Allan boots long off the opening kick-off. Winger Noa Nakaitaci gathers for France.

  108. Post update

    Italy v France (15:00 GMT)

    Before kick-off, there is be a minute's silence in memory of the three French athletes - boxer Alexis Vastine, swimmer Camille Muffat, sailor Florence Arthaud - killed in s helicopter crash in Argentina while making a reality television series.

  109. Post update

    The three pundits on BBC One are asked for their predictions...

    Jeremy Guscott: France victory by 10 points.

    Keith Wood: Italy to win.

    Carlo Delfava: Definitely Italy to win but it will be a very close affair. I think they will do it by three points.

    It should be noted, though, that Mr Wood has got his last two predictions wrong...

  110. Post update

    Italy v France (15:00 GMT)

    Italy fans ahead of the France match

    Italy have won the last two meetings with France on home soil, 23-18 in 2013 and 22-21 two years earlier.

    Judging by the anthems, the home crowd believe a hat-trick is on against this out-of-sorts version of Les Bleus.

    Hands clamped over hearts and tonsils swinging with the passion of it all.

  111. Post update

    Jeremy Guscott

    Former England centre on BBC One

    "There is so much talent in French rugby. But consistency wise these guys are just not performing at the level required."

  112. Team news

    France make eight changes to their starting XV but under-pressure fly-half Camille Lopez is retained.

    Winger Noa Nakaitaci makes his debut and Maxime Mermoz and Gael Fickou form a new-look centre partnership.

    France: 15-Scott Spedding, 14-Yoann Huget, 13-Gael Fickou, 12-Maxime Mermoz, 11-Noa Nakaitaci, 10-Camille Lopez, 9-Sebastien Tillous-Borde; 1-Eddy Ben Arous, 2-Guilhem Guirado, 3-Nicolas Mas, 4-Alexandre Flanquart, 5-Yoann Maestri, 6-Thierry Dusautoir (capt), 7-Bernard Le Roux, 8-Loann Goujon.

    Replacements: 16-Benjamin Kayser, 17-Rabah Slimani, 18-Vincent Debaty, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Damien Chouly, 21-Rory Kockott, 22-Jules Plisson, 23-Mathieu Bastareaud.

  113. Post update

    In addition to Tomasso Allan's call-up, centre Andrea Masi returns to the Italy XV.

    Winger Leonardo Sarto replaces Michele Visentin and back-row Samuela Vunisa takes over from Simone Favaro. Captain Sergio Parisse is set to win an Italian record 112th cap.

    Italy: 15-Luke McLean, 14-Leonardo Sarto, 13-Luca Morisi, 12-Andrea Masi, 11-Giovanbattista Venditti, 10-Tommaso Allan, 9-Edoardo Gori; 1-Matias Aguero, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3-Dario Chistolini, 4-George Biagi, 5-Josh Furno, 6-Francesco Minto, 7-Samuela Vunisa, 8-Sergio Parisse (capt).

    Replacements: 16-Andrea Manici, 17-Alberto De Marchi, 18-Lorenzo Cittadini, 19-Quintin Geldenhuys, 20-Marco Barbini, 21-Guglielmo Palazzani, 22- Luciano Orquera 23-Enrico Bacchin.

  114. Post update

    Italy v France (15:00 GMT)

    As Thierry Dusautoir leads his French troops down the stairs (not easy in studs) and out onto the Stadio Olimpico pitch, let's have a rundown of the team news.

  115. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Dave Lawton: ‏How will Italy cope going in as favourites (in my book) against France?

  116. Post update

    Carlo Del Fava

    Former Italy lock on BBC One

    Asked how Italy can get to the next level:

    "Because of the lack of sport at Italian schools we need academies, so you can get all the players in one place and ground out the basics, so they can get the core skills they wouldn't get from schools."

  117. Post update

    French coach Philippe Saint-Andre is interviewed on BBC One and is asked why he was blunt about his players' performance after the defeat by Wales.

    He shrugs and replies: "Sometimes you need to be."

    He doesn't look like a coach under pressure and says he is confident ahead of today's match.

    "I am not worried about Italy," he says. "It is just a game of rugby. We need to play, to be clinical and to be clever - and it is not good conditions so we need to build a good platform."

  118. Allan suffers injury

    Tomasso Allan

    BBC One coverage has kicked off in Rome and we arrive to bad news for Italy.

    After fly-half Kelly Haimona pulled out of the match yesterday through injury, Tomasso Allan was ushered in. Allan has just tweaked his groin in warm-up though.

    He will start with heavy strapping in place, but Luciano Orquera will be standing by on the bench.

  119. Post update

    Fiona Pocock

    In the midst of all the weekend's action, you may have missed this.

    England's women beat Scotland in the Six Nations on Friday, and for one player in particular it was an incredibly special occasion.

    Full-back Fiona Pocock returned from a four-year injury battle and not only played brilliantly but scored a try to boot.

    "Running on to the pitch was incredible, very emotional, and a moment I have been thinking about for years," she said.

    Full story here.

  120. Post update

    Yesterday's results leave the Six Nations a title at the centre of a three-way tug o'war that is impossible to call. (Can you have a three-way tug o'war? I'd like to see it if so.)

    England are slight bookmakers favourites. With the top three teams all on six points, they lead the way with a points difference of +37. They also have the advantage of playing France in the last game of the last day.

    Ireland (+33 playing Scotland away) and Wales (+12 playing Italy away) are waiting in the wings for a slip though...

    We have crunched the permutations here.

  121. Post update

    Wales beating Ireland

    Wales' defence in the face of 32 successive phases of Ireland pressure was the sort of thing that old men will talk about in awed tones in 50 years time.

    In total Warren Gatland's men racked up 250 tackles, beating the previous team record for a Six Nations match - Italy against Ireland last season - by a whopping 42.

    BBC Sport's Ben Dirs was there to witness it and glimpsed higher truths amid the carnage.

    "Whether you are a writer slumped for hours over a keyboard, a toolmaker stationed for hours at a lathe or a flanker busting his gut for his country, if the result is a triumph, all that perspiration dripping from the brow tastes sweet," he writes.

  122. Post update

    John Bull

    Never mind your Sunday roast, some of us are still digesting yesterday's rugby feast.

    Wales' win over Ireland was the sort of ferocious, marrow-mashing encounter to make you glad you never were good enough to play international rugby.

    England's victory over Scotland, filled with butchered overlaps and fluffed five-on-ones, was the sort to make you think, actually, you could probably do a job in either team's backline.

    Chiefs sports writer Tom Fordyce has run the rule over England's perplexing display.

    "By conservative estimates, England blew six clear try-scoring opportunities at Twickenham." he writes.

    "Overlaps were ignored, support runners scorned, passes thrown forward. None of which may ultimately have mattered in securing the Calcutta Cup for another year, but may prove critical in their pursuit of a first championship in four seasons."

  123. Get involved #bbc6nations

    Nick Cummins

    Fire up your search engines and set your social media weapons to 'fun'.

    In light of Philippe Saint-Andre's struggles and the eternally-entertaining explosions of Leicester coach Richard Cockerill, we are looking for your suggestions for which players, past or present, you want to see treading the touchline.

    Perhaps you think that Sebastian Chabal would be more successful convincing France backs to run the ball than tourists to use a particular brand of foreign exchange?

    Or does Jonny Wilkinson have the quiet certainty to inspire like Ian McGeechan on a Lions tour?

    And which translator would you employ to make a Nick Cummins team-talk comprehensible?

    Get your nominations in via #bbc6nations,81111 on text from UK mobiles, and on the BBC Sport Facebook and Google+ pages.

  124. Post update

    BBC One

    Italy v France is less than an hour away and springtime in Rome is always worth a peek.

    Good news then. BBC One has full live coverage and you can get it in glorious Technicolor on this very page.

    Just take your pointer for a walk to the top of this page and click on the live coverage tab. Sit back and enjoy.

  125. Post update

    Italy v France (15:00 GMT)

    Stadio Olimpico

    France are the lowest scoring side in this year's Six Nations - racking up just two tries and 39 points in three games so far.

    After their home defeat by France last time out, Saint-Andre described some of his players as "starlettes", more concerned with having their photo taken than representing their country.

    Thirty-five games into his job as France coach, Saint-Andre has a lower win percentage (43% to 57%) and fewer tries (57 to 72) than Lievremont had managed at the same stage.

    All of which led the influential Midi Olympique rugby newspaper to ask if the France squad is on the "brink of implosion".

    A trip into the high-pressure atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico is about to test their theory.

  126. Post update

    Philippe Saint Andre and Marc Lievremont

    As Gavin Mortimer in Rugby World explains, Philippe Saint-Andre in 2015 is essentially Marc Lievremont in 2011.

    But while Lievremont had a Grand Slam, a drawn series in New Zealand and a World Cup final appearance to point to by the time he left the hot seat, Saint-Andre is unlikely to depart with his CV similarly bolstered.

    Or with such an excellent moustache.

  127. Post update

    Philippe Saint-Andre

    Slagging off your senior players one moment?

    Fending off fierce media criticism the next?

    And all the while, struggling to explain some miserable pre World-Cup form?

    We have been here before with a France head coach.