Italy made a solid start to their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 52-8 win over Namibia but are likely to be pushed far harder by Uruguay on Wednesday.

Los Teros produced one of the performances of the tournament in losing 27-12 to hosts France, a match in which the scoreline flattered the hosts, who arguably got the rub of the green with certain decisions made by the referee and his team.

Uruguay beat Fiji four years ago and look to have come on from that. However, so have Italy and, while it will be an awkward evening for the Azzurri in Nice, they should have enough to get through.

Italy vs Uruguay Prediction

  • Uruguay +22.5 @ 10/11
  • Paolo Garbisi anytime tryscorer @ 6/4

Team news

The Azzurri have had 10 days to think about this game and coach Kieran Crowley has decided to go with the 10-12-15 combination that opened up Namibia in the latter stages last Saturday.

Tommaso Allan has moved up from full-back to fly-half, with Paulo Garbisi switching to inside centre and Ange Capuozzo given extra space in taking over from Allan at full-back after struggling on the wing.

As well as the positional tweaks, winger Lorenzo Pani, scrum-half Alessandro Garbisi, lock Niccolo Cannone and prop Marco Riccioni also come into the side.

Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses has made just two changes, with wing Gaston Mieres and hooker German Kessler coming in for Bautista Bassa and Guillermo Pujadas.

Uruguay +22.5 @ 10/11

Italy took a while to get going against Namibia and may not be allowed that kind of cushion against the Uruguayans.

The Azzurri came on strong in the second half and their line-up hints that they want to move the South Americans’ big pack around, with Allan and Paulo Garbisi happy to interchange between the 10 and 12 roles and alter the point of attack in the wide channels.

Uruguay can also throw the ball around and will expect to put points on the board.

However, the onus is on Italy to get the bonus point that could add an extra dimension to the group as they eye a qualification upset ahead of their final two Pool A games against New Zealand and France.

Crowley’s side may well grab a bonus-point victory, but Uruguay’s showing against France suggests they will not be blown away.

Paolo Garbisi anytime tryscorer @ 6/4

Paolo Garbisi went over for Italy’s second try against Namibia and, while undoubtedly more comfortable at first receiver, the extra time and space afforded in the midfield makes him just as dangerous.

That score in Saint-Etienne was typical of the 23-year-old as he spotted a gap and used his footwork to scythe through almost unimpeded by the defence.

He is no stranger to the 12 shirt, featuring there on numerous occasions for Montpellier and with younger brother Alessandro at scrum-half, their sibling synchronicity could provide chances.

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