Robbie Henshaw  passes  to  Keith Earls  during the Pool D  World Cup clash   at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Matrin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)

As ever against the Azzurri, especially at home, Ireland are on something of a hiding to nothing, in that woe betide them if they don’t give Italy a g(...)

Italy head coach Jacques Brunel has made four changes from his side that lost to Scotland.

Rookie outhalf Edoardo Padovani has earned the right to leapfrog Kelly Haimona and lead Italy’s backline against Ireland on Saturday, according to he(...)

Italy’s Mattia Bellini and Gonzalo Garcia in action against Scotland’s Stuart Hogg in Rome. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Captain Greig Laidlaw kicked Scotland to a 36-20 victory over Italy in a ferocious Six Nations match in Rome on Saturday, their first victory in the (...)

 There is  the sense that things have gone a bit stale after four years of Jacques Brunel’s leadership

Coach: Jacques Brunel Jacques Brunel has given his Italy squad a facelift as he looks to match or better last year’s fifth place finish in what wil(...)

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss: aware of the formidable record Toulouse hold at Stade Ernest Wallon. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Toulouse v Ulster, Stade Ernest Wallon, Sunday, December 20th, 2015, 1pm, Sky Sports 3 You have to believe that Italian hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini (...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is braced for a physical encounter with italy at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland expect to be “battered up front and pushed to the limit” by Italy in Sunday’s crucial World Cup encounter at London’s Olympic Stadium. Captain(...)

Italy’s Sergio Parisse has won his fitness race ahead of his side’s clash with Ireland at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Afp

Sergio Parisse has won his fitness battle for Sunday’s crucial World Cup clash with Ireland. The talismanic captain has finally beaten the calf haema(...)

Italy fullback Luke McLean: “We realise that we will have to be virtually perfect if we’re to have any chance to come away with a win.” Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

Luke McLean, Italy’s long-since naturalised Aussie who has played for his adopted country 72 times, is one of only four players in their squad born(...)

Italy backrow Sergio Parisse takes part in a team training session at Cobham RFC, London. Photograph: Getty Images.

Sergio Parisse took some part in his first training session with his Italian team-mates in Cobham yesterday after linking up with them on Tuesday, and(...)

Tommaso Allan of Italy reacts at the end of the game as Italy narrowly beat Canada 23-18. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Italy avoided a Canadian calamity at Elland Road on Saturday but outhalf Tommaso Allan admits the team must improve offensively if they are to make a (...)