Italy head to Twickenham in two weeks time
Former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan joined Joe Molloy on Off the Ball tonight to review the weekend's Six Nation's action.
Asked what he thought of the Italian display, O'Sullivan said: "I think they were pretty woeful. I felt bad for Conor O'Shea. I saw his interview with RTE, Shane Horgan interviewed him and he was talking about the long game and legacy and putting some stability around Italian rugby but certainly it's a long way off for him from where they are now.
"I think it's a very ambitious plan because he's the first coach to go into Italy and talk about building a sustainable model for them but I suppose there's no shock in it either because if you look at his line-up, it's effectively predominently Zebre and Treviso players who are pummelled on a weekly basis in the PRO12.
Ireland's Keith Earls scores Ireland's first try. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
"And Zebre this year have been particularly woeful. So it's just like they're not in the same class. I mean, there's always a chance you have an off day against them but and they'll stay in the game but even the week before, Wales, on a wet day in Rome, first game of the championship - you feel Italy have got maybe a chance to cause an upset but Wales didn't play well but at the end of the day they were a blade of grass away from 40 points.
"You really have to worry for Italy that they're just not at the races at this level. They can't sustain the intensity that's thrown at them. They can't stay away from the contact area because they don't have the skillset and they don't have the depth in their squad and it's a really bad situation for them," he added.
George Biagi of Italy. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Conor O'Shea's men head to Twickenham to play England in two weeks time.