Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Mallett aims for perfection

Italy coach Nick Mallett is looking for the Azzurri to play a perfect game against Ireland as they attempt to forget their opening RBS 6 Nations defeat at England.

The Azzurri endured a difficult start to the RBS 6 Nations with a 36-11 loss at Twickenham last Saturday.

"That game was a disappointment for the whole group," admitted Mallett.

"This week we have worked hard. The atmosphere is good and I have had the players' total attention.

"Our wish to play a great game against Ireland and give our fans an afternoon to remember is there.

"In order to do that we must play a perfect game."

Mallett has been forced to make some changes to his starting XV, with Italy's number 10 Andrea Marcato and lock Marco Bortolami failing to recover from injuries.

The Azzurri coach's biggest move has been to call Calvisano scrum-half Paul Griffen to the squad after a 16-month absence.

Griffen will replace Mauro Bergamasco at scrum-half, and will play alongside club team-mate Luke McLean, who comes in for the injured Marcato.

Bergamasco returns to his flanker position after last weekend's experiment of playing at scrum-half proved a failure.

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