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. FAVARO’S IMPORTANCE TO O’SHEA

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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