Temporary Italy boss Franco Smith with new captain Luca Bigi. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Overview Saturday February 28th, 2015. Barack Obama was still in the White House, nobody knew what Brexit was and Ireland were still adjusting to lif(...)

Italy’s players bow to the crowd after beating Canada at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka. Photograph: Getty Images

Italy 48 Canada 7 Italy made it two bonus-point wins from as many Rugby World Cup Pool B games as they beat Canada 48-7 in Fukuoka. The Azzurri race(...)

Joey Carbery   receives medical attention prior to being taken off during the Guinness Summer Series match between Ireland and Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Ireland 29 Italy 10 In what represented something of a trial for a host of players, ironically it was the performance and premature departure of one (...)

 Ireland’s Joey Carbery is helped from the pitch after sustaining an injury. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Ireland 29 Italy 10 Ireland duly negotiated their first of four World Cup warm-up games, but this ninth successive win over the Azzurri was not witho(...)

Johnny  Sexton, Joe Schmidt and Jacob Stockdale at Ireland training on Friday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Italy v Ireland, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Sunday 4pm local time/3pm Irish. On TV: Live on ITV (UK), Virgin Media (Ireland). Ireland haven’t hit their s(...)

Leinster’s Ian Nagle and his team-mates during the shock home defeat to Benetton Treviso at the RDS. The visitors were 18-1 to register a victory.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster 15 Benetton 17 There will be no refuge from such a blatant performance malfunction, the imperfections of which in the glare of the post-mat(...)

 Denny Solomona of Sale Sharks scores a try during the Aviva Premiership match against  Worcester Warriors at AJ Bell Stadium. Solomona has been charged by the RFU after allegedly aiming homophobic abuse at Worcester outhalf Jamie Shillock. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Denny Solomona has been charged by the English Rugby Football Union after allegedly aiming homophobic abuse at a Worcester player during an incident i(...)

Jacob Stockdale: the Ireland winger’s  seven tries proved a Six Nations record.  Photograph: Paul Harding/PA

A third Grand Slam, 12 consecutive victories in the Test arena from the final match of the 2017 Six Nations Championship to the game that marked the s(...)

Keith Earls: will be expecting to be part of a potent Ireland backline against Italy at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium. Kick-off: 2.15pm. (On TV: Live on TV3 and ITV)   This is an altogether different conundrum. A less lubrica(...)

Italy’s Ian McKinley is not in Conor O’Shea’s squad. Photograph: Giuseppe Fama/Inpho

Italy coach Conor O’Shea has admitted he had to stop himself from picking Ian McKinley to face Ireland purely to create a “romantic story”. Dublin-bo(...)

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