Ireland captain Jonathan Sexton said victory over Italy was the most important thing, but if not wrapped up with bonus points it would make their title aspirations impossible.
Ireland usually beat Asuri The last four Six Nations clashes have averaged 38 points in Dublin, but will have to emulate their 63-10 Rome in Rome if there is a point difference to separate the champions from the runners-up. 2017 before the final round next week against France in Paris.
When Ireland lost to England in Twickenham in the third round, their title challenge was all but spent. Scotland’s amazing victory over France the next day, the final Test before the lockdown, turned into an open championship. Defeating Italy by 10 points would overtake the Irish leaders, but a strenuous bonus victory would make them one point clear, with France just to come.
Ireland supporters who believe in fate will look to the 2014 campaign, which won in Paris on the final day, to put England ahead by a point difference. The order of their fixtures was the same this year: Scotland and Wales at home, then Twickenham, then Italy and France. So far, the results are the same.
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has made seven changes from the losing side at Twickenham, in one position, with injuries and suspension. Wing Hugo Keenan and Flanker Will Connors will make their Test debuts. Jacob moves from Stockdale wing to fullback. Thug Bain and second-row partner James Ryan saw the first three rounds at home while recovering from injury.
In the last 25 matches of the Six Nations, Italy lost in a long match until 2015 and narrowed Ireland’s victory margin to just one in the tournament in Dublin, another defeat. However, as Real Madrid became the newest team to discover this week, the spectator-less sport was unexpected, something Farrell did not miss.
“Italy has nothing to lose,” he said. “I like the style of rugby they want to play: they look to throw the ball around and they have a dangerous side. They will have a voice in how we play. We have a team that is compatible and can play in many ways. We are looking for a performance that will take us to the next week. ”
Italy will have another effect when they host England in Rome last weekend. Their last match was 17-0 against Scotland. Among the five players called up to the starting line-up is 20-year-old Paulo Garbici, who did not have a professional contract in March and is part of Italy’s Under-20 squad.
He joined Treviso in June and earned a place in the training squad in Italy next month. He has been promoted after two Pro 14 matches, and if he opts for the 10-year-old problem for Italy after the retirement of Diego Domnguez, it points to a bright future with recent victories over Wales and Scotland for the Under-20s. The only starter over the age of 30 is Jayden Howard.
“We’ve been talking about Garbici for the last few years,” said Mike Cat, Ireland’s attack coach, following Italy’s 2019 World Cup campaign. “He was very notable against Lanester recently, and I like how he attacks aggressively by seeing space very quickly. He will be very good if given time. ”
Italy’s right to play in six countries is questioned every year because of their poor record and Georgia’s ambition. “There are many young players who can only excel in Italian rugby,” said 26-year-old veteran Sebastian Negri. “We know how tough our last two matches will be, but we have a number of forces, intending to show ourselves, leaving everything there. ”