Italy coach Nick Mallett has targeted Ireland’s front row as a weakness and wants the Azzurri to push home their advantage in this area in Sunday’s winner-takes-all encounter.

<notforsyndication>Watch Ireland v Italy on RTÉ Two and online (RoI) from 8.00am on Sunday morning </notforsyndication>

Speaking after their 27-10 bonus-point win over the USA on Tuesday morning, the South African said: “We know perfectly well we have a better front row than Ireland and we're hoping to prove that on Saturday. If our front row put us on the front foot, we can win the game.

"Ireland are a side who really played so well against Australia, so we've got to play really well.

"I'm hoping Castro (Martin Castrogiovanni), Leo (Leonardo Ghiraldini) and 'Doctor' (Salvatore Perugini) can put us on the front foot.

"At the scrum today, we dominated completely. The game was not as open as the spectators would have liked but you have to play to your strengths and we deserved the penalty try - if not a couple more, quite frankly," added Mallett, whose term as coach of Italy will come to an end after the World Cup.

Italy captain Sergio Parisse, who scored the opening try against the USA, was also in a positive mood after the Pool C win and told ITV4: "We are happy because we took the five points - that is what was important for us.

"It was a lot of work but we scored four tries - that is the important thing. So we can look ahead to the Ireland game with confidence.

"It will be a big match. We have just five days to recover but we are looking forward to it with a lot of confidence," added the Stade Francais forward.