19 Jun, 06:50
A single point separated the sides as a hard-fought 5th-8th place play-off finished in France's favour at Stade Henri Desgrange on Tuesday night. Check out some photos from Ireland's fourth IRB Junior World Championsip match.
Tommy Bowe (calf) and Paul O'Connell (hamstring) both took part in some light training and it is hoped that they will both be able to step up their training levels at tomorrow's session.
Gordon D'Arcy has also continued his recovery programme from a hamstring strain and took a full part in the session today without any reaction.
Earls was on the left wing for Ireland's 13-11 Six Nations win over Italy last February and knows the Azzurri will be fired up for the high stakes clash at Otago Stadium.
"Italy ran us close and beat France in the Six Nations so it's going to be tough. It's always been tough against Italian sides - I remember even at Under-20 level they were really physical," he said.
"Their backs are quite physical, especially the centres, and they're good defenders. You feel it the following morning when you've played them.
"Maybe in the past we'd expect to win this game but you wouldn't say it now. Italy have pulled out some famous victories in the last few years.
"Hopefully on Sunday it won't be our turn to be on the wrong end of a result," added the Limerick man, who took his try-scoring tally to eight following his brace against Russia last weekend.
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