Pre­dic­tion 5th

Italy

Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

State of the na­tion

The talk is of rev­o­lu­tion, not evo­lu­tion. With their do­mes­tic sides strug­gling, for­mer Har­lequins coach Conor O’shea has been tasked with re­vi­tal­is­ing the Az­zurri in a root-and-branch over­haul. Sadly for Italy’s fans, any mean­ing­ful change could come in years, not weeks. Carlo Canna (left). Fêted by his coach O’shea as hav­ing as much tal­ent as Eng­land pivot Ge­orge Ford, Canna is a leggy, grace­ful No 10 with a var­ied pass­ing game and ac­cu­rate kick­ing game—he will be rel­ish­ing putting Ital­ian jetheeled backs Michele Cam­pag­naro and Gio­van­bat­tista Ven­ditti into gaps.

What to ex­pect

Led by the glad­i­a­to­rial Ser­gio Parisse, Italy will be look­ing to catch Wales cold on the open­ing week­end and then tar­get a win over France or Scot­land in Mur­ray­field. Achieve two wins and it will be back slaps all round; achieve three for the first time in their his­tory and O’shea will be granted the free­dom of Rome.

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