A simple win might not be enough for Wales to avoid the Wooden Spoon

Gatland urges young Welsh squad to ‘embrace the challenge’ ahead of Six Nations decider

A SIMPLE win against Italy this Saturday will not save Wales from bagging the Six Nations Wooden Spoon for the first time since 2007.

As Wales’s points difference is higher than Italy’s they have two options – win and score more bonus points than Italy or match their bonus points and win by more than seven points.

Teams secure a bonus point either by scoring four tries or more, or by losing by fewer than seven points.

If Italy win or draw there is no hope for Wales – regardless of the number of bonus points.

If they finish with equal points and the same points difference, it would come down to the number of tries scored across the championship.

Wales have lost all four of their Six Nations games and are bottom of the table, four points behind Italy.

Guinness Six Nations Table:

TeamPlayedWonLostDrawnForAgainstPoints diff.BonusPoints total

Their fourth defeat came on Sunday when they were overpowered by France in the last 15 minutes.

“Italy is a big game for us but you can’t hide away from it – you have got to embrace the challenge,” Wales coach Warren Gatland told BBC Sport.

“It’s a must win game – there will be a lot of external pressure and we understand that.”

Wales should be favourites but a win for Italy cannot be ruled out given their 31-29 victory over Scotland on Saturday. Italy beat Wales on home turf at the 2022 Six Nations Championship.  

“Italian rugby is 100 percent on the up. It has been a tough Test match every single time I’ve played them, they have physicality and structure and exciting players,” said Welsh lock Adam Beard.

“Perhaps they are favourites because we’ve had four losses, but we’re going to be hungry for this week. It’s a must-win game.

“I have no doubt that if we get our stuff right and put in that 80-minute performance, we will comfortably get the win we all desperately need.”