The Italian view ahead of Ireland's match

Conor O'Shea's side welcome Joe Schmidt's team to Rome in the Six Nations on Saturday

BY Raf Diallo 15:46 Wednesday 8 February 2017, 15:46 8 Feb 2017

A view of the match ball ahead of the Italy vs Wales match ©INPHO/James Crombie

As Ireland and Italy prepare to head to head in Week 2 of the 2017 Six Nations, both sides are coming off the back of opening weekend losses.

For Joe Schmidt's side, it was a chastening defeat in Scotland which dents title hopes. And for Conor O'Shea's Italy, Wales were able to run in three tries at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Italians are getting accustomed to life under Irishman O'Shea who has already guided the Azzurri to a famous win over South Africa last Autumn.

But as their clash against Ireland approaches, what has the press in Italy been saying so far?

Italy's head coach Conor O’Shea speaks to the media ©INPHO/James Crombie

In Milan-based Gazzetta dello Sport, there is an acknowledgement by Italy second row George Biagi that Ireland are a "completely different team" to the Welsh side that came away with victory in Rome, with a further recognition that Schmidt's are aiming to bounce back from the setback in Scotland.

The piece  also brings up his point that the "tallest player in the Pro 12" Devin Toner is a tough opponent to mark at set piece time based on Biagi's memory of the last Ireland-Italy match.

In their review of the Scotland match, the paper highlighted the sense of surprise at the result, given that Ireland were one of the pre-tournament favourites. 

Rome's Corriere dello Sport picks out Conor O'Shea's emphasis on changing Italy's mentality and how he felt their discipline was not quite what it should be in the second half against Wales.

Tuttosport in Turin also carries quotes from Biagi where the difference between the challenge of facing Ireland and Wales is expanded upon.

Expand being the operative word, with acknowledgement that Ireland's game is "more expansive" according to Biagi and that the Irish side have excellent players in their ranks.

He also adds that not ceding the initiative will be key.

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