Parisse absence means Wales must win in Italy in Six Nations

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The combination of Wales having regained some confidence from their win in France and Italy being without their most influential player in Sergio Parisse suggest that it is the visitors that have to be backed at 2/7 to triumph at Rome.

Parisse will miss the rest of the Six Nations after receiving a 30-day ban while on club duty for Stade Francais and the Italians have only ever mustered one victory without the number 8.

Manoa Vosawai certainly has big boots to fill and the big difference will be the reduced threat he offers from the base of the scrum.

Therefore, much will come down to the leadership skills of Martin Castrogiovanni in Parisse’s absence and how well new half-back pairing Edoardo Gori and Kristopher Burton can play for territory.

Italy are 11/4 to claim a second home win and it should be remembered that Wales were beaten at the Stadio Flaminio in both 2003 and 2007.

Given that Wales rarely run riot on Italian soil, an Italy success if given an eight-point headstart should not be immediately dismissed at 1/1.

After all, England only prevailed by four points on their last visit and Ireland two points.

Wales are unsurprisingly unchanged from the team that beat France and it is slightly odd that two teams to have beaten France are battling for mid-table supremacy in the Six Nations.

This means that Sam Warburton will have to make do with a place among the substitutes and Ryan Jones retains the armband.

If Wales are to prosper against a Parisse-less Italy, it may be a good opportunity to take advantage of the try markets.

All losing first scorer bets will be refunded as a free bet if Alex Cuthbert scores the opening try and a Welsh winger has crashed over in every Six Nations meeting with Italy since 2002.

Therefore, in opposition to Cuthbert in this role is George North and he is worth siding with at 7/1 to score the first try, as he did against France previously.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.