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Derbyshire fitness boost for Italy

Italy flanker Paul Derbyshire has declared himself fit to play in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations match against France in Rome.

The Benetton Treviso player has recovered from a thigh injury that kept him out of the Azzurri's opening three games of the competition.

"I am well," Derbyshire said. "I am working on being ready if (Italy coach) Nick Mallett wants to use me throughout Saturday's game. I am physically 100%. I have only taken a little bit of time to find the rhythm with the squad considering I have not played for Italy since the November Tests."

Italy head into the encounter at the Flaminio Stadium still without a win in the tournament this year.

The Azzurri lost at home to Wales 24-16 last time out having previously been trounced 59-13 by England at Twickenham. Mallett's men were beaten 13-11 by Ireland in their Six Nations opener.

"We have to approach this game in the right way," said Mirco Bergamasco. "We are not thinking of our past games. We are just focusing on the task at hand in order to prepare for the game against France."

Bergamasco, who plays his club rugby in Paris with Racing Metro, will face some of his Racing team-mates this weekend.

"It's not something I'm thinking about," he said. "They will be my rivals on Saturday. I expect a very difficult match and we will have to impose our rhythm from the start."

Mallett will announce the team to face France on Thursday

Italy are bottom of the standings, separated from winless Scotland by points difference. The Azzurri end the tournament against Scotland in Murrayfield on March 19.


From Belfast Telegraph