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D'Arcy: Time for talk is over

Gordon D'Arcy has demanded his Ireland team-mates reward the loyalty shown in them by management and supporters.

A punishing schedule of four matches in 22 days, imposed by the weather-enforced postponement of the France game, begins with Saturday's arrival of Italy in Dublin. Inactive since losing to Wales on the opening weekend of the championship, Ireland are eager to resume their campaign by propelling themselves back into the title frame.

Victory would also end their three-match losing streak at the Aviva Stadium, and D'Arcy said: "The importance of beating Italy is an absolute no-brainer. There are huge things at stake here - our home record, getting our championship challenge back on track and setting the record straight."

He added: "We also need to repay the people who have put a lot of faith in us, from the management right the way through to the amazing support we've received, even when our performances have dipped.

"A lot of people have put faith in us and now it's time for us to give it back to them.

"We must deliver. All the talking is great, but we are the ones who have to deliver."

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