Given Italy's status as the team with least pedigree in the Six Nations, Ireland will be favourites to up their try count on Saturday.

Thus far, the tournament has not served to allow the Irish side to build much momentum in attack with one opportunistic effort from Ronan Kelleher against France and Tadhg Beirne's alertness in the opener against Wales all the Irish side have to show on the scoreboard when it comes to tries so far.

But with England and Scotland still to come, how much can observers really learn about the Irish attacking strategy on Saturday and does the existing problem lie in the planning or execution?

"Even if we do go away and we do hammer Italy by 30-40 points, it's not going to tell us a whole lot from an attacking perspective given that we've the lowest number of tries," Donal Lenihan said on this week's RTÉ Rugby Podcast.

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"We've only scored two tries in the championship to date which is the lowest return for any side. [The Italy game] may give you a glimpse of things that they're talking about working on in training but haven't come to fruition on the field.

"When you hear (attack coach) Mike Catt coming along, 'Well, we've given them the blueprint, the players they're not changing, they're not adapting on the field...', you just start to wonder a small bit."

Catt in his public pronouncements suggested that Ireland created a significant amount of try-scoring opportunities but for Bernard Jackman, that was not quite the case upon review.

"I think what Mike Catt is trying to do and I listened to his quotes and his interviews, and he said, 'We created a lot of chances against France'. I looked back at it and we actually didn't," he said.

Mike Catt and Andy Farrell

"The only real chance we had was the James Lowe opportunity. But again, I can understand why he's subliminally trying to subliminally get messages to players that 'look, we are creating chances and it's just execution'.

"But again, I would say also, if there's not a transfer from the blueprint to the pitch, they need to look at why and need to work with the players. They say clarity gives confidence.

"At the moment, it doesn't seem like we're getting a huge amount of confidence from the training environment to be able to go and execute in the game and that's something that the coaches and players together have to take responsibility. In fairness to the players, they haven't come out and said, 'We don't understand the plan'. They've kept quiet about it and it's going to be interesting to see the reaction this week."

In a longer-term sense, the current coaching regime had indicated that Ireland would look to play with more width in attack and be less scripted in strategy than under Joe Schmidt.

Yet, for Jackman, "the evidence of what we see doesn't show that the players are buying into that etc."

The former Dragons head coach added: "I don't think it's credible to say the players don't have the skillset to do it. I think they do. But they probably just need confidence and confidence comes from how you train, how you prepare for opposition."

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Follow Italy v Ireland (kick-off 2.15pm, Saturday) via our live blog on and the RTÉ News app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.