Six Nations: Ireland v Italy (Sat)

Team news & line-ups
Leinster back row Jack Conan makes his Six Nations debut for Ireland in one of four changes from the win in France.

Conan replaces CJ Stander, while Jack McGrath, Devin Toner and Dan Leavy also come into the Irish pack.

Twenty-year-old back Jordan Larmour, who has scored six tries in 14 games since making his Leinster debut, is among the replacements.

Italy make three changes from the loss to England, with Braam Steyn, Nicola Quaglio and Luca Bigi all selected.

Get the latest news by adding rugby union alerts in BBC Sport’s app
Insight and chat – subscribe to the Rugby Union Weekly podcast
Ireland: Kearney; Earls, Henshaw, Aki, Stockdale; Sexton, Murray; McGrath, Best (capt), Furlong, Henderson, Toner, O’Mahony, Leavy, Conan.

Replacements: Cronin, Healy, Porter, Roux, Stander, Marmion, Carbery, Larmour.

Italy: Minozzi; Benvenuti, Boni, Castello, Bellini; Allan, Violi; Quaglio, Bigi, Ferrari, Zanni, Budd, Negri, Steyn, Parisse (capt).

Replacements: Ghiraldini, Lovotti, Pasquali, Ruzza, Mbanda, Gori, Canna, Hayward.

Commentator’s notes
Andrew Cotter: “After the dramatic victory over France this might be the ideal game for Ireland – they will surely win and still be able to rotate and rest some players for challenges ahead.

“Among them, Jack Conan starts at number eight, and in the replacements many will be looking forward to seeing exciting Leinster back Jordan Larmour get his first cap.

“Italy did show against England that they have improved the creativity of their attack, so if they can at least score a couple of tries again it will demonstrate progress.

“Ireland, though, will expect victory and a bonus point.”

View from both camps
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt on potential debutant Jordan Larmour: “I expect Jordan to provide what he’s been providing in the provincial matches so far – that raw acceleration and the ability to beat players.

“And without the ball he wants to make a big contribution too.

“It’s a good situation that he could potentially slot in around experienced players, but at the same time, you don’t place a player and expect them to be looked after.”

Italy head coach Conor O’Shea on Larmour: “He reminds me of a young [All Blacks full-back] Christian Cullen; I haven’t seen someone who can step off both feet like that.

“I couldn’t even step off one foot, I just ran straight the whole time.

“I can’t wait to see him up close and personal, though I hope he doesn’t do too well.

“He is box office isn’t he, to have that sort of ability?

“I’m sure Joe will nurture him through the way only Joe does.”

Match facts

Ireland’s 63-10 win in Italy last year was their record Six Nations win and the biggest margin of victory recorded by any away side in the competition.
Ireland have faced Italy 18 times in the Six Nations, winning 17 and losing just once. That solitary 22-15 defeat came in Rome in 2013.
Italy have won four Tests overall between the two but just once away from home – a 37-29 victory at Lansdowne Road in January 1997.

Ireland are on an eight-game winning streak and have won 11 of their last 13 matches.
However, Ireland failed to register a try against France, having scored 32 in their previous seven victories.
They have lost just once at home in 14 Six Nations fixtures, the 2013 defeat to England, and are unbeaten in the last 11, winning nine and drawing two.

Italy sustained their 13th consecutive Six Nations defeat against England.
Their only championship victory during that period was 22-19 away to Scotland three years ago.
Italy have managed just two away wins in 45 attempts in the Six Nations, both in Scotland.
The Azzurri have lost 12 of their last 13 Tests. The exception was November’s 19-10 victory over Fiji in Catania.
Match officials
Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Touch judges: Pascal Gauzere (France) & Matthew Carley (France)

TMO: David Grashoff (England)