Two struggling teams meet in the Six Nations this weekend when Italy host Scotland,who are odds on favourites with Betfred, on Saturday lunch-time with Andy Robinson calling for further improvements from his team.
For the second year in succession, this contest will decide who finishes bottom of the Six Nations table with both these teams losing all of their matches so far.
Neither team wants to be handed the wooden spoon of course, so this is a very important contest. It was Scotland who won the final game of last year to ensure Italy finished bottom and they will be aiming to do the same.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rome, Scotland coach Robinson said: “If we don’t improve, we will be in trouble again. If we make errors in the final third in Rome, Italy will have the scrum strength to damage us.”
“We played some good rugby at some points and there has been improvement but we all know we need the substance that comes from a win, especially after the display in Dublin.”
In the most significant team news for Scotland, Nick De Luca will come back into the starting line-up at the expense of the injured Lee Jones.
Looking at the head to head record between these two teams, they have been reasonably evenly matches over the years. In their previous 12 Six Nations meetings, Scotland have seven victories to Italy’s five.
As for Scotland’s record in Rome, they have lost on their last two visits, but will still start as slight favourites to win this one. It would be a positive end to a frustrating and character building campaign for them.
Italy will be desperate to avoid their fifth consecutive year finishing bottom of the table though, so in front of their home fans they will look to take the game to Scotland early on.
It should be an extremely competitive contest and it gets underway at 12.30pm on Saturday lunch-time.