Italy’s resolute performance during the first half against Wales last weekend will have left Conor O’Shea optimistic his charges can pull off at least one scalp during this year’s RBS 6 Nations.

And the Irishman has shuffled his pack slightly in a bid to cause Ireland the same problems in a hostile Stadio Olimpico that they did to Rob Howley’s men. O’Shea makes four changes to his side, but faces a stern test in Rome with 2013’s shock win at the stadium still the Azzurri’s only victory over Ireland in the Championship.

Abraham Steyn by no means had a poor game in last weekend’s reverse, but with Simone Favaro fit again, the big-hitting flanker comes straight back into the line-up.

Favaro has struggled with shoulder and ankle injuries and was not risked for the opening-round loss against Wales.

In his absence Steyn impressed throughout, carrying well to set up his side’s first try to give them a half-time lead.

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