Italy Will Not Underestimate Romania

Italy captain Quintin Geldenhuys says Sunday’s Rugby World Cup match against Romania is a must-win for his team.  Geldenhuys will lead the Azzurri in the absence of regular skipper Sergio Parisse, who is out injured.  The lock says:  ‘It’s the game of the World Cup, and we are facing an important and difficult challenge.  We must win at all costs.  There are no other options.’

A win will ensure third place in the group and qualification for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.  Geldenhuys will lead the Italians for the fifth time and says:  ‘Being captain of Italy is a great honour, especially as the Rugby World Cup.  We have had a very good week of training.  We have paid great attention to the line outs after struggling against Ireland, one of the best teams in the world in this area of the game, and I am confident that we will make a step forward.’

He admits it is not ideal with the absence of Parisse:  ‘Replacing Parisse is always a great responsibility.  Sergio is an extraordinary player and also this week has remained close to the team.  It is an example to all, as well as Mauro Bergamasco, a 100% professional in every training session.  Him not being used tomorrow is a technical decision.  I can only say that it was a privilege to play with a friend like him, which you know they can rely at all times.  Although he will be in the stands, tomorrow he will still be with us.’

Geldenhuys says the Oaks’ forwards will have to be battled head-on:  ‘It will be a game where the contribution will be crucial for us as forwards.  We know to expect a very harsh confrontation with the Romanian pack.  The first eight men are the strength of Romania.  By the play of their forwards they were able to build a historic comeback against Canada on Tuesday.  We will have to pay close attention.’