Ireland eye repeat win in Rome
January 31, 2011
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara is tackled by Italy's Carlo Festuccia during their meeting at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome two years ago © Getty Images
Italy and Ireland are set to launch their respective assaults on the Six Nations crown when they go head-to-head at the Stadio Flaminio on Saturday.
Ireland were the first Home Union to award Test status for internationals against Italy. The nations have met 18 times in major Tests since 1988. Ireland lead the series by 15 wins (including the last 14 matches) to three. Italy's wins were between 1995 and 1997 in successive friendly internationals outside the Six Nations Championship.
Ireland thumped Italy 38-9 on their last visit to Rome in 2009 on their ways to a Grand Slam.
Ireland hold the record for the most tries, highest score and biggest winning margin of the series. They scored eight tries in the 61-6 win at Thomond Park, Limerick when the sides met in 2003 in a World Cup warm-up match. Ireland also scored eight tries in the 2007 Six Nations match in Rome.
Ronan O'Gara, with 30 points for Ireland in Dublin in 2000, holds the series record for most points scored in a match. Denis Hickie set the record for most tries in a match, scoring four for Ireland when the sides met at Limerick in 2003.
The corresponding match records for Italy belong to Diego Dominguez (27 points in Bologna in 1997) and Paulo Vaccari (two tries in Dublin in 1997).
Hickie heads the list of try scorers for the overall series, crossing eight times in eight appearances between 1997 and 2007. Paulo Vaccari is the leading Italian try scorer in the matches with three in four games.
Italy-Ireland Six Nations results:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.