Italy head coach Conor O’Shea is hoping to see improvement from his side when they participate in this year’s Six Nations.
The Azzurri – who have finished last on 11 occasions since joining the competition in 2000 – kick off their campaign against Wales in Rome on Sunday.
And although O’Shea’s ultimate goal is for his side to do well at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, he wants them to be competitive in the Six Nations and upset the more fancied teams.
“We know where we want to go in the long term, but we must also think about the short term – this Six Nations – and the medium term to increase competitiveness ahead of the (2019) World Cup,” he said.
“We need to ensure high performance for 400 minutes across five matches, to be in the game until the end in each of the five matches.
“Improving the depth of our squad is a goal, as well as having internal competition. Our work is to develop our group and create internal competition with two to three players for each position, which can only be beneficial to our team.”