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Quintin Geldenhuys looking for Italy victory in Dublin

Published 08/03/2016

Quintin Geldenhuys, pictured, believes Italy can capitalise on an Ireland side vulnerable after relinquishing their RBS 6 Nations title
Quintin Geldenhuys, pictured, believes Italy can capitalise on an Ireland side vulnerable after relinquishing their RBS 6 Nations title

Italy believe they can make Ireland crack under the weight of fighting purely to preserve their RBS 6 Nations pride in Saturday's Dublin clash.

Lock Quintin Geldenhuys has challenged the Azzurri to ramp up the pressure on Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, with Joe Schmidt's men chasing their first win of the tournament at the fourth attempt.

Ireland are desperate for victories against Italy and Scotland to avoid slipping from two-time reigning champions to Six Nations also-rans.

And South Africa-born Geldenhuys insists Jacques Brunel's men can pull off a shock result this weekend, for what would prove just their second ever win in Dublin.

"Ireland are under pressure, a situation they are not really used to," said Geldenhuys, with Italy also winless after three matches.

"We must further increase this pressure once we're on the field. We have the opportunity to go and play a great game.

"We have the chance now to produce a great match against, and impose our own game on Ireland."

Italy's only win in Dublin came in a 37-29 victory in 1997, and the Azzurri have beaten Ireland just once in the two sides' last 21 meetings, a 22-15 triumph in Rome in 2013.

Head coach Brunel will leave his post at the end of the Six Nations, with Harlequins' former Ireland full-back Conor O'Shea poised to take the helm in the summer.

Italy have slipped to consecutive defeats to France, England and Scotland, but Geldenhuys still believes Brunel's men can prevail in Dublin.

"Our defeats to France and England were decided by specific moments that changed the games.

"We suffered a bit more against Scotland but we are in a good place and can produce something big in Ireland."

Gritty lock Geldenhuys has finally recovered from surgery to his right arm in December.

The 34-year-old admitted he feared his Italy career was at an end when learning he would require an operation to fix the problem picked up in Pro12 action for Zebre in November.

"Physically I'm fine, I worked a lot on fitness and also the operated arm, despite a slight decrease of strength, is fixed," said Geldenhuys.

"I'm happy to be here, I'm no longer young and after the injury I thought my time in blue was over.

"I do not do long-term projects, I just want to give my contribution to the next two games."

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