Marco Bortolami previews Italy v Ireland

The former captain spoke to Newstalk Breakfast

Marco Bortolami previews Italy v Ireland

Marco Bortolami holds the Italian crest during the National Anthem Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Marco Bortolami played for Italy against Ireland 11 times. He lost all 11 of those games, missing the 2013 win through injury.

The former Italian captain played his last game for the Azzurri in 2015 after playing 112-times for his country. Now a coach with Treviso, the 36-year-old joined Newstalk Breakfast's Alan Quinlan to preview Saturday's game, in Rome.

Last weekend, Italy were the only team not to earn a point. They lost 7-33, conceding 30 points in the second-half. Under new head coach Conor O'Shea, Italy impressed in the first-half, before Wales gained a foothold in the Stadio Olimpico.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game against Wales", Bortolami admitted. "After the first-half, every supporter and fan believed we could finish on front of [Wales]. Discipline let us down".

It will be the first time, O'Shea has come up against Ireland in international rugby and Bortolami has called him a "great character".

"He has been very passionate with the players at club level, trying to change their attitude and mentality."

Despite being the national coach, O'Shea is spending time with the likes of Zebre and Bortolami's Treviso. The former captain has been impressed by the Ireland international.

"He is taking the team in the right direction. To see results, we need to be patient. [O'Shea] want to see improvements every game"

Bortolami feels the Italian hopes will depend on their discipline. Last week, they conceded 16 penalties compared to Wales' five.

"You start every game 0-0. I'm sure [Italy] will have their opportunities."