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Rain will clear eastwards during Saturday morning followed by sunny spells and scattered blustery showers. Highest temperatures of 10 to 12 degrees Celsius in fresh to strong south to southwest winds.
The Guinness Six Nations restarts after an eight-month hiatus thanks to the coronavirus and it's Andy Farrell's championship contenders Ireland hosting Italy in what will be an empty Aviva Stadium to kick things off.
The numerous Covid-related problems surrounding the latest Ireland soccer camp and the seemingly minute-by-minute breaking news on the GAA front certainly means that getting this game played without any major hiccups will be a victory in itself.
Even the Ireland Women have not escaped the dreaded virus with originally named starters Eimear Considine and Laura Feely ruled out of their Saturday night clash with Italy as a precaution.
STATE OF PLAY
Ireland have their fate in their own hands, in as much as they can control what happens in Paris on Saturday week when they face France, who would be crowned champions with a five-point haul from that game, too.
That said, ten points from tomorrow's game and against Les Bleus will give Farrell's side the championship.
If neither side claim the bonus point win then England, who play Italy next weekend, would likely retain their prize.
Ireland started well with wins over Scotland (19-12, lucky) and Wales (24-14, much better) before suffering defeat to England (24-12, chastening) in Twickenham.
Italy have lost all three of their games to date, losing to France, Wales and Scotland.
Sat 24 Oct
Ireland v Italy
Sat 31 Oct
Wales v Scotland
Italy v England
France v Ireland
Farrell hands debuts to Leinster's Will Connors at openside, and provincial team-mate Hugo Keenan on the left wing. New Zealand-born Jamison Gibson-Park is set for his first start from the bench, as is Ed Byrne as replacement hooker.
There is one major positional switch with injuries to Jordan Larmour and Will Addison allowing the head coach to stick Jacob Stockdale in at full-back.
The first team announcement of the Restart! @IrishRugby have picked an exciting side for their Round 4 game with Italy this Saturday.— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) October 21, 2020
Read more: https://t.co/57gyK8KfI3#GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/plaw8t5pIn
Paolo Garbisi, 20, will make his debut at out-half and coach Franco Smith has also included uncapped hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi and utility back Federico Mori on the bench.
🇮🇹 A debut for 20-year-old phenom Paolo Garbisi at fly-half and a first start in two years for No.9 Marcello Violi@Federugby are ready for the challenge of Ireland on Saturday in the #GuinnessSixNations— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) October 22, 2020
Full story 👉 https://t.co/0VCLp4wuBS pic.twitter.com/aTc6YXHVbn
WHAT THEY SAID
"I hope that you see an energy in defence that is pretty ruthless. I hope that you see a dynamism in our contact skills that gets the ball back. I hope you see a set-piece that is one that is aggressive and going after them."
"The group has a very young average age and thanks to our two domestic teams, we can make a qualitative leap, but we must remember that Rome was not built in a day. This for us is a beginning and an opportunity to create our new culture, with an enlarged group that will form the basis for the future of the national team."
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant 1: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant 2: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)