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(...)

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(...)

Luke Fitzgerald challenges for a high ball with Matt Evans during Ireland’s opening World Cup match against Canada. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The odds on Ireland winning Pool D shortened from 4/6 to 4/7 in the aftermath of beating Canada, and while that may seem a little premature, it tak(...)

Sean Lamont slides over for a score during Scotland’s 48-7 Rugby World Cup warm-up win over Italy at Murrayfield. Photograph: PA

Scotland 48 Italy 7 Scotland finally injected some momentum into their World Cup preparations as they followed up last week’s win over Italy with a 48(...)

Sergio Parisse will captain Italy against Ireland in Saturday’s Six Nations opener in Rome. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Italy’s selection to face Ireland is probably as much to do with their lack of depth as it is to do with the form of Jacques Brunel’s players. With ju(...)

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 (...)

Nick Cummins of Australia breaks through to score his team’s second try against Italy   at the Stadio Olimpico. Photograph:  Harry Engels/Getty Images

Italy 20 Australia 50Australia rebounded from their England defeat to record a 50-20 victory over Italy in their second autumn international at the St(...)

Rob Simmons has been brought in to beef up the Australia pack. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie has revealed the Wallabies will seek to outmuscled Italy when the rivals collide in Turin today. To beef up his pack, Mc(...)

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(...)

Italy’s head coach Jacques Brunel.

Castrogiovanni, whose mooted move from Leicester Tigers to Toulon has seemingly fallen through, was forced off in the first half at Twic(...)