Italy landed in Cardiff on Sunday night from Edinburgh following a 48-7 defeat to the Scots on Saturday at Murrayfield. The Italian national team began its preparation on Monday morning for its last pre-World Cup Test on Saturday against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. After the double setback against Scotland, Jacques Brunel’s boys must now face the Dragons.
The Azzurri return to Rome before flying to England on September 12 ahead of their Twickenham kick-off against France. On Monday morning captain Sergio Parisse and company devoted time to work in the gym at the University of South Wales. Loose-head prop Matias Aguero and wing Angelo Esposito missed training after both were forced to leave the field through injury on Saturday in Edinburgh. Team manager Luigi Troiani says: ‘Esposito will be subjected to an MRI scan on the left shoulder, which was already operated on in the past. He suffered a subluxation and we must investigate further. Aguero reported cervical contracture on Saturday and and will resume normal training tomorrow (Tuesday) with the group.’
Troiani says the state of mind of the players was also important after the heavy defeat to the Highlanders: ‘The defeat was emphatic and that kind of score is never easy to take, but we have seen, however, some technical aspects that we will have to strengthen this week. Certainly, the value of this group was not seen in Edinburgh at Murrayfield but many problems have emerged which we remedied immediately in terms of the game.’ Italy forwards coach Giampiero De Carli says: ‘Scotland was better than us, it is undeniable. We took to the field with the right attitude, but we were not able to capitalise and make it effective. We have suffered. Compared to the first Test (against Scotland) in Turin we had little rhythm to our game and we will have to work out how to be more consistent from week to week.’