Azzurri have sights set on beating Scotland and England
Italy's Six Nations rugby campaign was launched at the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in Rome on 23 January, with ambitious talk from coach Jacques Brunel.
The Frenchman said that the Azzurri would seek to capitalise on their success in last year's tournament in which they beat Ireland and France at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. "We want to win the two home games – Brunel said – in particular against the English, who we've never beaten."
Italy begins the 15th edition of the annual rugby union championship – which is contested by England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales – by playing Wales in Cardiff on 1 February, followed by a trip to Paris to face France on 9 February.
Italy takes on the Scots at the Stadio Olimpico on 22 February, as well as facing England in Rome on 15 March. In between the Azzurri head to Dublin to play against the Irish squad which will be keen to avoid a re-run of the defeat it faced in Rome last year.
During the launch the president of the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) Alfredo Gavazzi said that so far 90,000 tickets had been sold for the two home matches, with the goal of selling 120,000.
The presentation, which was attended by Italy's rugby team and the president of the Lazio region Nicolo Zingaretti, ended with the unveiling of Italy's new rugby jerseys: blue for at home and white for away matches.
See details of Wanted in Rome's competition to win two free tickets to Italy vs Scotland match.