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Ferris: We must improve home form

Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris insists the transformation of the Aviva Stadium into a fortress must begin by defeating Italy on Saturday.

A record of six defeats in nine games since returning to their rebuilt home at Lansdowne Road in November 2010 has left them looking vulnerable on home soil.

"New Zealand are the only team who have really beaten us, in the rest of the games we probably beat ourselves," said the 26-year-old. "We need to be a bit smarter and when we do have our foot on opponents' throats, we should keep it there."

He added: "In the past we've let teams off the hook. We need to be a bit more clinical and grind it out when we need to.

"We had the opportunity to do that against Wales three weeks ago. We wouldn't be talking about this if we had beaten Wales.

"With Ulster we drive up to Ravenhill on a Friday night knowing we're going to win.

"We also need to be driving on the bus to the Aviva knowing that we're going to win.

"That's the feeling you have to get at your home stadium and it comes with results, big victories and strong performances. We should start that this weekend.

"Leinster have a great record at the Aviva Stadium, so it's not about the ground, it's that our performances haven't been good enough."

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