Rob Howley says Italy have some world class players
Rob Howley knows Wales are in for a tough time in their RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy on Saturday.
I think they play a little bit more rugby than they have done in the past and have a great set piece
The Wales interim head coach has named an unchanged side from the one which started the 6-16 win over France in Paris with the only changes coming on the bench.
Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones take the place of Aaron Shingler and Lou Reed among the replacements and Howley says he is wary of the danger posed by Jacques Brunel's side.
"Italy is one of the toughest places to go in Europe," said the former Wales scrum half.
"We've always had a tough outing against Italy, home or away. They're very difficult to break down and very well organised. They've got some world class players and they're coached very well.
"We're hugely respectful. I think they play a little bit more rugby than they have done in the past and have a great set piece."
On the back of the win in Paris, Wales face Italy on Saturday before another away trip to take on Scotland. They then finish their campaign with what could be a Championship defining game with England in Cardiff on March 16.
For now though, Howley is solely focused on the Italians and knows his side must use their last performance as a springboard for the rest of the Championship.
"It's a good challenge for us, it's something we're excited about but we realise as a coaching team and as a squad that one win isn't good enough," Howley added.
"It's about momentum and we need to go out there and beat Italy.
"That brings its own dangers, the key to this weekend is discipline. Against Ireland and France we were on the wrong side of the penalty count and discipline is going to be key in Italy.
"That's the one thing we'll talk about between now and then."
And with the options of Warburton, Paul James and Craig Mitchell on the bench, Wales look to have plenty of strength in depth ahead of their meeting with what will sure to be a physical Italian pack.
"The one thing we're really pleased about is the impact and strength off the bench," said Howley.
"Having Alun Wyn's and Sam Warburton's experience is a priceless commodity and they'll have a huge impact at the weekend.
"International rugby is about 23 players and that strength off the bench is something we'll need in Italy."
You can follow the entire match between Italy and Wales by logging on to www.wru.co.uk/live
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event