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Six Nations Audio: Eddie O’Sullivan On Masi And Mallett

Six Nations Audio: Eddie O’Sullivan On Masi And Mallett

At Friday’s pre-match press conference, Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan was asked to give his opinions on two men who are central to the Italian cause at Croke Park this weekend – new out-half Andrea Masi and new coach Nick Mallett.

Asked to comment on the Italian selection and Andrea Masi’s positioning at number 10, Eddie O’Sullivan said: “I think he’s (Nick Mallett) set out his stall that he wants to take this player and develop him into the Italian fly-half. I believe Masi’s experience at fly-half isn’t a lot, his most recent playing experience would be at centre.

“Having said that, he’s a very good footballer. He’s got ability to beat players, is strong and he can distribute as well. I think we might see a little bit of a different mix there from Italy than we normally do.

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“But I don’t want to over-read it because Italy will continue to do the things they normally do very well – hold onto the football and test you physically in contact. It’s going to be a little bit different but at the same time, we’ve got to get the hard work done.”

On the subject of new Azzurri boss Mallett, O’Sullivan admitted: “I don’t know the guy personally, I’ve never met him. I know we’ve a formidable opponent tomorrow. His track record (with South Africa and Stade Francais) is excellent but we’ve got to focus on our own job. This Irish team has got to go out and play as it can play – that’s the priority. We don’t get too hung on Italy.”

To listen to Eddie O’Sullivan’s interview, please click here.