France vs. Italy: Date, Time and TV Info for Six Nations 2014

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France vs. Italy: Date, Time and TV Info for Six Nations 2014
Associated Press
Italy and Wales do battle in competition opener.

France will be looking to carry on the momentum from their last-gasp victory over England, when they meet Italy on Sunday.

The hosts had looked like they were heading for defeat in the opening game of the RBS Six Nations, however, a moment of brilliance from teenage centre Gael Fickou rewrote the script and capped his side's 26-24 victory just three minutes from time.

This signaled France's first win in the competition and showed intent from their young guns that winning is firmly on their minds.

No such good fortune for Italy, though, who lost 23-15 to a tough Welsh side and the ever-influential Leigh Halfpenny, who scored two conversions and three penalties to lead his side to victory in their first-round fixture.

Wales, who are in pursuit of their third Six Nations title in a row, showed no mercy to Jacques Brunel's youngsters, who are now rooted joint-bottom of the table following defeat.

Odds certainly favour the hosts, who will go out looking to take top spot, with Yoann Maestri set to continue his good form.

Michele Campagnaro and Tommaso Allan, both 20 years old, keep their places after fine performances last time out.

Who will win?

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When: Sunday, 9. Feb

Where: Stade de France, Paris

Time (U.S): 10 a.m. ET

Time: (U.K): 3 p.m. GMT

Watch: (U.S): Not Available

Watch: (U.K): BBC

Live Stream: Not Available

Odds (via SkyBet): France (1/50), Draw (33/1), Italy (16/1)

 

Top Storyline: Can Brunel win it with kids?

Marco Vasini/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated Press
Jacques Brunel instills faith in his youngsters.

Italy coach Brunel looks set to stand by his youngsters as his side look to make their mark on this year's competition.

The side, who lost their opening match, were handed a life lesson as they were downed by a resilient Welsh outfit.

And Brunel, who spoke with the RBS6Nations website, knows that he is asking plenty of his young guns—but knows that they can rise to the occasion:

I expect our young players to play at a higher level than they have done before. Just as I trust them by giving them a role in the starting XV, they have to reward my trust with solid performances. We gave an interesting performance against Wales and there's no reason why we cannot take another step forward against France.

I'm hoping we can look to last year's win in Rome for inspiration and that we can play to our full potential. If we play as I know we can, we have every chance of beating France. We hope that on Sunday we can remain in the game as long as possible but we will need to play a perfect game.

Credit where it is due to Brunel, as he sticks to his guns and allows the future of Italian rugby to rear its head in fierce competition.

Certainly, it's unexpected that the side will come out of this year's competition with any title chance, however, the real story going forward for the side will be who will continue to gel and regroup; win together and lose together, both during and after this tournament.

 

Prediction: France 23-26 Italy.

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