For the game against Wales last week the stadium was far from full as Italians found difficulty summoning up enthusiasm for a side who had suffered 14 straight championship defeats. However, the win over the Welsh - and the fact that it's the Irish who are in town - has awakened interest in the John Kirwan coached side.
Ireland:Geordan Murphy (Leicester); John Kelly (Munster), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt, Kevin Maggs (Bath), Denis Hickie (Leinster); David Humphreys (Ulster), Peter Stringer (Munster); Reggie Corrigan (Leinster), Shane Byrne (Leinster), John Hayes (Munster); Gary Longwell (Ulster), Malcolm O'Kelly (Leinster); Victor Costello (Leinster), Keith Gleeson (Leinster), Anthony Foley (Munster).
Italy: Paolo Vaccari; Mauro Bergamasco, Cristian Stoica, Giovanni Raineri, Denis Dallan; Diego Dominguez, Alessandro Troncon capt; Giampiero De Carli, Carlo Festuccia, Ramiro Martinez; Cristian Bezzi, Marco Bortolami; Andrea De Rossi, Aaron Persico, Matthew Phillips.Replacements: 16 Andrea Moretti, 17 Leandro Castrogiovanni, 18 Mark Giacheri, 19 Scott Palmer, 20 Juan Manuel Quierolo, 21 Ramiro Pez, 22 Mirko Bergamasco.
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)Touch-Judges: Paul Honiss (New Zealand), Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)