Peter O'Mahony prepared for 'big challenge' from Italy

Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony says his side is braced for a 'big challenge' against Italy in the Six Nations this Saturday.

Peter O'Mahony wins a lineout ahead of Yacouba Camara. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Conor O'Shea's Italy suffered a 46-15 defeat to England in Rome in their opener last Sunday.

Despite the defeat, O'Mahony saw lots of positives in the Italian performance

"They're doing lots of good things. I think they've found a good balance," said the Munster captain.

"Conor is obviously driving their youth through, you can see through the Pro14 and you can see it spilling out into the national side.

"They are certainly a more complete team then they have been before and we're expecting a big challenge."

Last weekend's bruising 15-13 win in France has led to speculation Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will ring some changes for the clash with the Azzurri.

Joey Carbery will be pushing for a start at fly-half while Jordan Larmour is "is very close to being ready" to making his Test debut, according to skills coach Richie Murphy.

"Jordan Larmour is very close to being ready, he has learned very quickly," Murphy said at a press conference yesterday.

"It is just a matter of whether it is right this week or not and that will come down to the selection process, but we are not looking at him and saying 'he's not ready'.

Joe Schmidt is due to name his team tomorrow, with Ireland taking on Italy at 2.15pm on Saturday.

READ MORE: Italy 'a good game to start' Jordan Larmour with, says Brian O'Driscoll

- Digital Desk

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