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Six Nations: Rob Howley expecting a difficult match when Wales take on Italy

Last Updated: 19/02/13 4:40pm

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Rob Howley: Taking Italy very seriously this weekend

Rob Howley: Taking Italy very seriously this weekend

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Rob Howley is expecting a tough test when his Wales side travels to Italy for the third round of the RBS 6 Nations.

The Italians defeated Wales in 2003 and 2007 in Rome and although they are likely to be without a banned Sergio Parisse head coach Howley knos his players need to produce a disciplined performance.

"It is one of the toughest places to go in Europe," said Howley, who confirmed lock Alun-Wyn Jones and flanker Sam Warburton as changes on the bench following Wales' 16-6 victory over France in Paris earlier this month.

"I think they have got a great set-piece, and it is important we stop them at source and impact the game on what we want to bring to the 80 minutes.

"We've always had a tough outing against Italy, home or away. They are very difficult to break down, they are very well organised, they've got some world-class players and they are coached very well.

"We've always had a tough outing against Italy, home or away. They are very difficult to break down, they are very well organised, they've got some world-class players and they are coached very well."
Robert Howley

"It is a good challenge for us. On the back of winning in France, we realise that one win isn't good enough. It is about some momentum, and we need to go out there and beat Italy.

"The key for the weekend is discipline. It is the one thing we will talk about between now and then."

Experience

Cardiff Blues lock Lou Reed and Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler drop out of the match-day 23 on duty against France, with Howley's bench contingent boasting a total of 264 caps.

"With Alun-Wyn and Sam on the bench, that experience and impact is so important," Howley added.

"The last 20-25 minutes in games are key, and having their experience is a priceless commodity. I am sure they will have a huge impact on the weekend.

"Sam is fully fit, he's taken an active part in training, and it's great to have that experience. International rugby is about 23 players.

"Sam will go on to play many games for Wales and captain Wales. He is the ultimate professional. He is very grounded, and he understands regarding the decision that it was the best for the team.

"He has been fantastic in training, and he is obviously looking forward to making a difference when he goes on."

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