The Irish have won 11 of their last 13 games and have lost to Italy only once.
Saturday evening plays host the pick of the Round 2 clashes of one of rugby's fiercest rivalries is reignited under the evening skies of Twickenham Stadium as reigning Six Nations champions England welcome Wales across the border, with both clubs seeking back-to-back wins.
Certainly the way they reduced the Azzurri to so much rubble will do their confidence levels no harm whatsoever ahead of the visit of Wales' in a fortnight's time.
A sensational opening round will be a tough act to follow, but you can rest assured, the Natwest Six Nations will show no signs of relenting in Round 2 with some fierce action set to unfold. Ireland were the only team in the tournament that failed to score a try last weekend, and needed a long-distance drop-goal from Johnny Sexton to snatch victory.
Dan Leavy makes his first global start coming in for the injured Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan makes his Six Nations debut at number 8, while there are also starts for Devon Toner and Jack McGrath.
Italy made three changes from the loss to England, with Braam Steyn, Nicola Quaglio and Luca Bigi all selected.
The outside centre bagged two tries today, but landed rather awkwardly when scoring the second.
Sexton's third conversion made it 21-0 after 21 minutes and in the 36th minute some fine work at the breakdown from Dan Leavy led to a fine break from Aki before Keith Earls burst clear to score. "We've got a scan booked for him".
Now early in the second-half Robbie Henshaw has been forced off with what appears to be a really serious injury.
Italy fashioned a response when fly-half Tommaso Allan scored and converted his own try.
What TV channel is Ireland vs Italy on and can I live stream it?
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