'Don't underestimate Canada': Italy coach

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The Rugby World Cup Trophy, the Webb Ellis Cup, in London. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP
12:08 CEST+02:00
Italy's French coach Jacques Brunel has warned his side against underestimating Canada ahead of their Rugby World Cup tie on Saturday.

Brunel, who will step down after the campaign ends, said that aside from hoping his scrum fares better against a tough as teak Canadian one than they did against the French, it was better discipline that would help their chances immeasurably of a win and a much-needed boost to their battered morale.

"They are a bit down, not because we lost, but because of the way that we lost," said Brunel. "The scrum performance will be fundamental. We gave away too many penalties, even though we don't agree with all of them.

His side gave away an astonishing 19 penalties to France in their opening 32-10 defeat last weekend. "Our indiscipline cost us. Canada are a team that like to use the scrum. We cannot underestimate Canada.

"For a start we played them in 2012 and it was a tight match. Furthermore we've seen the match against Ireland and they really played well."

Brunel has lost one of his few star backs in Andrea Masi to a tournament ending injury but has also taken a brave decision in relegating legendary hirsute prop Martin Castrogiovanni to the bench.

Italy are deprived again of the one world class player as captain Sergio Parisse's recovery from an operation has taken longer than predicted.

Canadian captain Tyler Ardron has called on his players to keep cool heads, after hot-headed veteran Jamie Cudmore's yellow card against Ireland lost his side dearly. They lost their opening Pool D match 50-7, conceding 19 during his ten minutes of exile.

Ardron, who returns to the starting line-up after missing the Ireland game with a knee problem, said his side could beat Italy if they stick to their style for most of the game against Six Nations champions Ireland.

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"There were only a few times in the game when we did let up," said Ardron, one of six changes to the starting line-up from the Ireland game as head coach Kieran Crowley tries to rest players a rest with two further games to come.

"Then there was the yellow card and I think we lost something like 19 points. We saw 50 or 60 minutes against Ireland where we got the things we can control right.

"For me, coming back in, just make sure we can put a full 80-minute game in and don't have any of those lapses that caused us to go astray," added the 24-year-old back row forward. 

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