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Opta Facts: Ireland v Italy

Opta Facts: Ireland v Italy

Player-of-the-match Caelan Doris scored two tries during Ireland's Bank of Ireland Nations Series win over Italy last August ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Check out the Opta Facts, provided by Stats Perform, as leaders Ireland prepare to host Italy in the second round of the Guinness Men’s Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

– Ireland have won 23 of their previous 24 Six Nations matches against Italy (L1), including each of their last 10, and have won all 12 of their previous encounters in Dublin by an average margin of 29 points

– Ireland have won each of their last 16 Test matches on home soil, their longest ever such run in men’s Test rugby, with Ireland scoring four tries or more in 12 of those 16 matches

– Ireland have won each of their last nine games in the Six Nations, their longest ever such run in the Five or Six Nations. In fact, only England (W11, 2015-17) have reached double figures for consecutive victories in the Championship since Italy joined in 2000

– Italy have won just one of their last 43 Six Nations matches (L42) and have lost each of their last six in the competition. However, each of the Azzurri’s last two Championship wins have come away from home (against Wales in 2022, and Scotland in 2015)

– Ireland and Italy each made six line breaks in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations, the joint-most of any of the teams, along with Wales. Italy also had the highest tackle evasion rate of any team last time out (22%)

– Italy (2.0) conceded fewer points per defensive 22 entry than any other side in the first round of the Six Nations, while Ireland scored more points per attacking 22 entry than any other team last weekend (4.2)

– Ireland (32%) and Italy (30%) moved the ball beyond the first receiver from a greater share of their attacking phases than any other teams last weekend

– They were also the only two teams to attack the openside of the pitch from 90%+ of their attacking phases last weekend (Ireland – 91%, and Italy – 92%)

– Ireland’s Joe McCarthy crossed the gain-line from a greater percentage of his carries than any other forward to carry on 5+ occasions last weekend (89%), Fellow lock Tadhg Beirne was the only forward to make multiple line breaks (2)

– Italy’s Monty Ioane beat more defenders than any other player in the opening round of the Six Nations (6), while team-mate Tommaso Menocello beat over twice as many defenders as any other centre last time out (5)

– Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony is set to make his 50th Six Nations appearance. He will be the ninth Ireland player to reach the milestone in the Championship (Rory Best, Ronan O’Gara, Brian O’Driscoll, Cian Healy, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray, John Hayes, and Paul O’Connell)