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Castrogiovanni: We must stop errors

Martin Castrogiovanni accepts Italy will have to play the "perfect game" if they are to stand any chance of marking their Olympic Stadium debut with a first victory over England.

The Azzurri will be roared on by a crowd of 75,000 in Rome - an Italian Six Nations record - after moving their fixtures from their traditional base at the Stadio Flaminio, but Castrogiovanni knows that Latin passion alone will not be enough against an England side looking to build on last weekend's Calcutta Cup triumph over Scotland.

"We are at home in front of 75,000 and such a crowd will give us great energy to play. As Latin people we are very proud of that," he said. "But to win against England we have to play the perfect game and we cannot make too many mistakes, like we did against France last weekend."

Castrogiovanni, whose side lost 30-12 against France in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations opener in Paris on Saturday, added: "A lot of people think we have the opportunity to win but it's going to be a tough game, one of the most physical games to play because England have a massive big pack of forwards.

"England put a lot of pressure on at the scrum. They will attack us where we are strongest and we need to be prepared for them. If we are to win then we need to play the perfect game."

Castrogiovanni holds a great affection for English rugby after turning down lucrative offers elsewhere to sign a new deal with Leicester.

Tigers wing Alesana Tuilagi is moving to Japan this summer on a deal understood to be worth £800,000, but no amount of money could tempt Castrogiovanni away from Welford Road.

The 30-year-old may look like a caveman, with his long hair and thick beard, but he just wants to be loved.

"I understand people who move for the money but when I finish my career I want to be somewhere people remember me. I play rugby to be happy, not for other things," Castrogiovanni said.

"I decided to stay because a lot of people showed me the love and to play for Leicester is to play for one of the best teams in the world."


From Belfast Telegraph