Italy’s  Tommaso Allan of Italy looks to release the backs during the  World Cup Pool D match against France  at Twickenham Stadium. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Images

The old adage that ‘if you have a reputation for getting up early you can stay in bed all day,’ is one to which the Italian backs might subscribe g(...)

Italian scrumhalf Edoardo Gori did test the Canadian fringe but I fancy Ireland will not leak as easily.  Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP 5:55

For the third weekend running events in other grounds are tearing my attention from Ireland where my PhD is progressing on English decision- making(...)

Gonzalo Garcia of Italy goes over for a try during the  Rugby World Cup Pool D match against  Canada at Elland Road  in Leeds. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Italy 23 Canada 18 Italy squeaked past a determined and inventive Canada at Elland Road to keep alive their hopes in Pool D at the Rugby World Cup. T(...)

Martin Castrogiovanni has been dropped as Italy coach Jacques Brunel announced four changes for Saturday’s game against Canada at Elland Road. Photograph: Afp

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made four changes to his team for the Rugby World Cup Pool D game against Canada in Leeds on Saturday. Props Mic(...)

Gordon D’Arcy in action for Leinster against Treviso in his final home match for the province. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Leinster 10, Treviso 0: As poor a season as witnessed since the move to fortress RDS ended in all too familiar fashion. If there were more food sta(...)

Wales coaches Robert Howley  and Warren Gatland  chat ahead of their Six Nations encounter against Italy in Rome. Photograph: Getty Images

All Wales know as they prepare to start the final round of matches against Italy in Rome is that they have to win to remain in contention for the titl(...)

Italy captain  Sergio Parisse is tackled by England’s Luther Burrell (above) and Jonny May during the Six Nations match at Twickenham. Photograph: David Davies/PA

England head coach Stuart Lancaster sees plenty of room for improvement despite England claiming a second win from two Six Nations matches with a six-(...)

The Azzurri stand for the Italian national anthem. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

You have to admire Warren Gatland’s chutzpah. No doubt he rubs up some people the wrong way, but this, of course, is also part of the plan. Unveiling (...)

 Tommaso Allan will start at outhalf for Italy in their  Six Nations opener away to Wales on Saturday. Photograph:  Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Treviso winger Angelo Esposito will make his international debut when Italy begin their Six Nations campaign with a daunting trip to Cardiff to take o(...)

Ireland’s Brian O'Driscoll sits on the sideline after being sin-binned in the first half of the game against Italy   at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Ireland succumbed to a first defeat to Italy in the Six Nations after an indisciplined afternoon at the Stadio Olimpico when the injury jinx th(...)