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Six Nations Preview – Italy v Ireland

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Italy will be hosting Ireland on Saturday in their third round match of this years Six Nations Championship.

Both sides are still looking for a win which makes it a desperate situations for both sides. Italy, although a much improved side, is still far behind the rest of the Six Nations countries and will find it difficult yet again this weekend against Ireland.

Ireland will welcome back their captain Sexton for this one after he recovered from his injury he sustain against Wales in round 1.

On the bench we also see two possible debutants in Craig Casey and Ryan Baird. They will make their debut for Ireland later in the game.

Conor Murray is still not available due to a hamstring injury.

This test will give Robbie Henshaw his 50th cap for Ireland as he partner again with Garry Ringrose in the midfield for Saturday.

At the back three Keenan keeps his fifteen jumper with Lowe and Larmour on the wings.

Ireland will have a new front row combination in Kilcoyne, Kelleher and Furlong with Ryan and Henderson in the second row.

CJ Stander will be at eight with Beirne and Connors on the side of the scrum.

Franco Smith has decided to keep the same starting line-up for this test at home.

There is a few changes on the bench with Cherif Traore’, Maxime Mbanda’, Callum Braley and Mattia Bellini coming in into in place of Danilo Fischetti, Federico Ruzza, Guglielmo Palazzani and Tommaso Allan.

Prediction: Italy will give some resistance but at the end Ireland should take full points out of this game, Ireland by 17

Teams:

Italy: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Luca Sperandio, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 David Sisi, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi (c), 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Cherif Traore’, 18 Giosuè Zilocchi, 19 Niccolò Cannone, 20 Maxime Mbanda’, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Federico Mori, 23 Mattia Bellini

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Will Connors, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ryan Baird, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Keith Earls

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