Italy begin the men’s Six Nations 2022 looking for their first win in the Championship in almost seven years but there is reason for optimism among Azzurri fans.

Kieran Crowley oversaw his first test matches as head coach in November and following defeats to New Zealand and Argentina, he claimed his maiden victory in the role as Italy beat in-form Uruguay in Parma.

Pierre Bruno and Hame Faiva each scored on debut at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi and they have been joined in an exciting squad by six uncapped players, including Benetton winger Tommaso Menoncello, fly-half Leonardo Marin and number eight Toa Halafihi.

A sensational recall for Sergio Parisse has been put on hold due to injury but he remains in contention for the latter part of the Championship. Will Italy have ended their long wait for a Six Nations win by then?

France v Italy, Stade de France, 6 February (kick-off: 15:00 GMT)

Crowley’s first Six Nations match in charge of the Azzurri will take place in Paris as Italy take on France, who have been earmarked by many as this year’s favourites.

His squad contains local knowledge as star fly-half Paolo Garbisi and promising centre Federico Mori both ply their trade in the Top 14.

But the Azzurri will have to play to their absolute maximum if they are to secure a first ever Six Nations victory against Les Bleus at the Stade de France.

Italy’s two Championship wins against France to date have both come in Rome. The Azzuri’s sole away test win against France came 25 years ago – before they were admitted to the Six Nations – when Diego Dominguez kicked 20 points in a 40-32 victory in Grenoble.

Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico, 13 February (KO: 15:00 GMT)

Italy return home to Rome in round two but the task at hand will not get any easier as Eddie Jones’ England arrive at the Stadio Olimpico.

The two teams have met 22 times in the Championship and England have won them all, running in five tries during a 34-5 victory on their last visit to the Italian capital.

That said, the Azzurri have come closest to winning the fixture when it has been played at home, leading 12-6 at half-time 10 years ago before going on to lose 19-15.

February’s encounter could pit two of the most exciting playmakers in Europe against each other should Garbisi and Marcus Smith line up at fly-half for their respective sides.

Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, 27 February (KO: 15:00 GMT)

Following the first rest week, Italy will travel to Ireland aiming to secure their first Six Nations win in Dublin.

Prior to their admission to the Championship, the Azzurri won three successive matches against Ireland between 1995 and 1997, including one at Lansdowne Road.

However, they have not won in Dublin since and lost 50-17 to the Irish on their last trip to the Aviva Stadium as Hugo Keenan scored two of the hosts’ seven tries in October 2020.

Italy v Scotland, Stadio Olimpico, 12 March (KO: 14:15 GMT)

The Azzurri’s most recent Six Nations win came at Murrayfield in February 2015 as Tommaso Allan’s late penalty put the seal on a 22-19 defeat of Scotland.

Harlequins fly-half Allan is currently injured but his international team-mates will hope they can put on a performance good enough to earn an eighth Championship win against the Scots.

Scotland, though, have continued to improve under Gregor Townsend and scored three tries and 17 unanswered points on their last visit to the Stadio Olimpico, during the 2020 Six Nations.

Wales v Italy, Principality Stadium, 19 March (KO: 14:15 GMT)

The Azzurri will end their 2022 Six Nations campaign, and kick-off Super Saturday, when they take on defending champions Wales at the Principality Stadium.

Italy’s two Championship wins against Wales both came in Rome, with the most recent back in 2007 when tries from Kaine Robertson and Mauro Bergamasco secured a 23-20 win at Stadio Flaminio.

One year prior to that match, Wales failed to beat Italy in a Six Nations match in Cardiff for the first and so far only time when first-half tries from Ezio Galon and Pablo Canavosio helped secure an 18-18 draw.

The sides have met in round five on five occasions previously and Wales have ended each encounter victorious.

Italy's Six Nations 2022 fixtures (all times GMT)

France v ITALY, Stade de France, 6 February, 15:00
ITALY v England, Stadio Olimpico, 13 February, 15:00
Ireland v ITALY, Aviva Stadium, 27 February, 15:00
ITALY v Scotland, Stadio Olimpico, 12 March, 14:15
Wales v ITALY, Principality Stadium, 19 March, 14:15

READ MORE: Wales Six Nations 2022 fixtures: Who do they play and when?