Italy take on Ireland in the first of two Six Nations games this weekend after France vs Scotland was postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the French squad this week.
It has been a demoralising campaign again for the Azzurri, despite some bright signs, given they are now approaching six years since their last Six Nations victory, but an Ireland side lacking confidence travel to Rome for their latest bid to snap that unwanted streak. But Italy provide ideal opposition for the visitors, who suffered back-to-back defeats to start a Six Nations campaign for the first time ever following a loss to France last time out. It’s now 29 successive losses for Italy, now marshalled by head coach Franco Smith, while their last triumph over the Irish occurred in 2013.
But Italy Luca Bigi captain has sent out a warning to the Irish though, insisting they will build on their loss to England at Twickenham after some promising signs: “The match against England from the point of view of the score, of course, did not satisfy us, but it gave us greater awareness in what we can do and in our game,” the 29-year-old told a press conference. It has been a great week of work. We want to make our families and the fans at home proud and proud of us. Ireland have players that we face every week in the PRO14. We know what awaits us tomorrow and we want to add a new step in our growth path.”
Follow live score updates and analysis from the Stadio Olimpico plus build-up to Wales vs England as the main course this evening at the Principality Stadium:
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