Six Nations: Rob Howley says final games should start at same time

Rob Howley
Rob Howley played scrum-half for Wales and the British and Irish Lions
RBS Six Nations: Italy v Wales
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Rome Date: Saturday, 21 March Kick-off: 12:30 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley says Six Nations tournament organisers should "probably" ensure all final-day games kick off at the same time.

Italy host contenders Wales on Saturday in a 12:30 GMT kick-off. Ireland then take on Scotland followed by England versus France at Twickenham.

Howley says the Six Nations should follow the Premier League model of simultaneous final day starts.

"Probably, that might and should be the case in the RBS," said Howley.

Wales need to win and overhaul their significant points-difference deficit compared with England and Ireland.

"I do really enjoy the last day of the Premiership in football. Everyone listening to their radio, seeing what the scores [are]," said Howley.

Six Nations captains and the 2015 trophy
Six Nations captains and the 2015 trophy

He added: "Obviously going first up it's important we win the game.

"We're not too sure that what we do in the game will be enough because Ireland and England will have the opportunity after, knowing what they can do."

Howley says winning the 2015 Six Nations would eclipse their 2013 title triumph.

"I think it would beat the performance of that year," he said.

Wales recovered from an opening defeat to Ireland in 2013 and sealed the title with a spectacular 30-3 victory against England on the final weekend.

They began this year's competition in similar fashion, losing to England in their first game before beating Scotland, France and Ireland to set up their title shot in Rome.

"Losing to England at home was hugely disappointing. To beat Ireland, who are third in the world, was a fantastic win," said Howley.

Three-horse race
TeamPoints differenceFinal-day match
England+37France (h)
Ireland+33Scotland (a)
Wales+12Italy (a)
The three-way battle - who needs what?

"I think the first 15 minutes of the game was the best ever start we've had as a coaching team and players.

Welsh hopes of winning the Championship are slim, but Howley hopes their replacements can make a telling impact from the bench if the game opens up late on.

Scrum-half back-up Gareth Davies was picked ahead of veteran Mike Phillips with that in mind.

"The strength of the bench is if we're in that situation in terms of points difference, then we can open the game up a little bit.

"It is one game where there might be an opportunity and we feel Gareth [Davies] in South Africa came off the bench and played particularly well.

"He can score tries and it's something we might need in the last 20 of the game."

The Six Nations trophy will be at Twickenham and, although there will be a replica at Edinburgh, there will be no trophy in Rome.

"I think it's probably the right decision but, as a coach, you use every motivation possible to motivate your players and that is a motivation tool for us," said Howley.