Italy v Ireland match facts

Ireland go to Italy in the second round of the 2017 Six Nations on Saturday.

Here we look at some key facts surrounding the fixture:

:: Ireland and Italy have met 26 times, with Ireland victorious on 22 occasions, and the Azzurri four.

:: Ireland will aim for their fifth consecutive win over Italy, having last lost to the Italians in Rome in 2013.

:: Jamie Heaslip will move past Malcolm O'Kelly to become Ireland's eighth most-capped player of all time in Rome, claiming his 93rd Test appearance.

:: Sergio Parisse will extend his record as Italy's record caps holder to 123 Test bows this weekend. Parisse will also captain Italy for the 75th time.

:: Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has made two changes to the side that lost 27-22 in Scotland, with Donnacha Ryan and Cian Healy replacing Iain Henderson and Jack McGrath.

:: Italy show four changes from the side that were beaten 33-7 at home by Wales last weekend, with hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini, lock Dries van Schalkwyk, flanker Simone Favaro and Treviso wing Angelo Esposito all starting.

:: Scrum-half Conor Murray will make his 50th start for Ireland on Saturday, in his 55th cap overall.

:: Italy coach Conor O'Shea will coach a Test team against his home nation Ireland for the first time in his career.

:: Kieran Marmion is in line for his 10th Ireland cap off the bench, with Saturday also his 25th birthday.

:: Ulster wing Craig Gilroy has won selection to an RBS 6 Nations match squad for the first time with Ireland since 2013.


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