Traveling to Rome to play must seem a real bonus to all the rugby teams in the Six Nations.
Traveling fans may feel the same way as there is good food, good weather and the prospect of their team getting a healthy win.
As defending champions, Ireland travelled to Rome with nothing to fear and even the injury to Johnny Sexton didn’t unsettle the Irish who recorded a comfortable 26-3 win over the Azzurri.
The Italian team has had their best results in the Six Nations in 2007 and 2013 when they finished fourth.
They beat France and Ireland in 2013 but such results seem a distant memory as they still play the same brand of rugby. When the pressure is on in their own half of the field they give away needless penalties that keep opposing teams on the front foot.
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Italy need Sergio Parisse
It is hard to pinpoint a game plan that would totally suit Italy with the lack of quality players to choose from. Without their standout player Sergio Parisse getting them over the gain line, Italy look limited in attacking options.
Their best game plan against England at Twickenham would be to adopt a conservative ten-man kick-and-chase strategy and put the opposing team under pressure in the scrum.
To make this brand of rugby successful, they would need to bolster their defence and really work on discipline in their own half.
Wooden Spoon likely
Italy have tried for very long to play a more expansive game without players who are capable of an expansive game.
If they don’t adapt to a more conservative game plan they will be collecting the Wooden Spoon at the end of the Six Nations.
It would be very surprising if England don’t beat Italy by at least 20 points on Saturday; and with their current game plan they will not progress to the knock-out stages of the World Cup.
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