Samuel Vunisa will shift from openside flanker to number eight to cover for the injured Sergio Parisse in Italy’s team to play Wales in Rome on Saturday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Italy captain Sergio Parisse has been ruled out of Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Wales at the Stadio Olimpico.In a hammer-blow for the Azzurri(...)

Italy head coach Jacques Brunel.

So what’s this about Romulus and Remus forming the secondrow partnership for Italy? In historically referring to the twin founders of Rome, it (...)

The Azzurri stand for the Italian national anthem. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

You have to admire Warren Gatland’s chutzpah. No doubt he rubs up some people the wrong way, but this, of course, is also part of the plan. Unveiling (...)

 Michele Visentin, seen here with the ball while playing for  Cammi Calvisano, has been called into the Italy squad for the first two Six Nations games against Ireland and England. Photograph:   Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has named four uncapped backs in his 30-man squad for the opening game against Ireland at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Februar(...)

Munster’s Simon Zebo was on the scoresheet against Zebre. Photograph: Giuseppe Fama / Inpho

Zebre 7 Munster 31Munster cruised to a sixth successive victory over Zebre to return to winning ways in the Guinness Pro 12.Following a 24-16 defeat a(...)

 Tommaso Allan will start at outhalf for Italy in their  Six Nations opener away to Wales on Saturday. Photograph:  Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Treviso winger Angelo Esposito will make his international debut when Italy begin their Six Nations campaign with a daunting trip to Cardiff to take o(...)

Referee Nigel Owens looks on during a TMO decision in the second half of the Ireland v New Zealand clash that ruled out an Israel Dagg try. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

If you wanted an example of a real farce, you’d have found one on your television last Saturday as Ulster were playing Zebre away. And no, I’m not tal(...)

Ulster’s Michael Allen is tackled by Gonzalo Garcia and Roberto Quartaroli of Zebre during the RaboDirect Pro 12 game at Stadio XXV Aprile. Photograph:  Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Zebre 11 Ulster 19: Paddy Jackson kicked 14 points and played a part in Darren Cave’s try as Ulster beat Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile and move into (...)

Robbie Henshaw’s play today against Zebre at 13 could have ramifications for Ireland. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

In stark contrast in particular to Leinster, when Connacht are hit by a wave of injuries it quickly becomes a crisis. It’s a numbers thing. And it is (...)

Connacht  coach Pat Lam:  “We want the four points, we want the win, but the real focus is on us playing as a team.” Photograph: Inpho

Connacht’s new coach Pat Lam knows there will be massive expectation as his charges face Zebre, a club that has yet to win a match in the Pro 12 sinc(...)