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
Birthday boy Hallam Amos gets the perfect present with his selection on the wing for Wales ahead of Alex Cuthbert as Warren Gatland's men prepare to face England at Twickenham tomorrow in a crucial pool game of the World Cup
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
Captain Sam Warburton admits he is devastated for Rhys Webb and Leigh Halfpenny who will both miss the World Cup due to injury but he is confident Wales' strength in depth will see his side bounce back and mount a serious challenge.
Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards says Wales will go into the World Cup still hurting from the semi-final defeat four years ago in New Zealand. But before that, there is the small matter of Italy, tomorrow at the Millennium Stadium.