Benetton’s Federico Ruzza. The club arrvies at the RDS tonight in third place in Conference B, having won 10, drawn one and lost seven so far. Photograph: Elena Barbini/Inpho

In the last two seasons Leinster have played 31 home matches in all competitions and won 30 of them. Benetton’s 17-15 win at the RDS in April last yea(...)

Ireland’s Keith Earls  dives to score a try despite  tackles from Italy’s  Tito Tebaldi and  Alessandro Zanni during the Six Nations match  at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph: VIncenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Italy 16 Ireland 26 The sight of Johnny Sexton kicking a towel after leaving the fray in the 78th minute, not in anger at being replaced but rather i(...)

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(...)

Braam Streyn moves to number eight in place of the injured Sergio Parisse. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

15 Jayden Hayward (Treviso) Age: 32 Height: 6’1” Weight: 91kg (14st, 5lbs) Caps: 14 The son of Taranaki faced his native All Blacks last year, and has(...)

Italy’s outhalf Tommaso Allan runs in  to score a try during the autumn international against Georgia   in Florence. Photograph:  Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Italy 28 Georgia 17 Italy boosted their case for continued inclusion in the Six Nations on Saturday with a 28-17 win over Georgia in Florence, the te(...)

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(...)

Fiji number 8 Nemani Nagusa  is tackled by  Tommaso Boni , Tommaso Castello and  Sergio Parisse  of Italy  during the international  Test match at the Angelo Massimino Stadium in Catania, Sicily. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Italy 19 Fiji 10 Italy ended a nine-match losing streak with a hard-fought 19-10 victory over Fiji in Catania on Saturday as their Irish-born outhalf(...)

Italy  coach Conor O’Shea: “This is just a beginning but it is a very good beginning.”

In the wake of Italy’s 20-18 win against South Africa in Florence on Saturday, the Azzurri coach, Irishman Conor O’Shea, and his squad inevitably earn(...)