Niccolò Cannone claims Italy must replicate the attitude they showed against England in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations if they are going to cause the Red Rose problems this weekend.
On Super Saturday of the 2020 Championship, Italy impressed against England in Rome – only trailing 10-5 at the break following a stirring first-half display before the visitors pulled away in the second 40 minutes to triumph 34-5 and ultimately win the title.
Cannone started that match in the second row, as he did for all five games during the 2020 Championship, and believes a similar sort of display will be needed at Twickenham this weekend.
The Azzurri face a wounded England, who lost to Scotland at Twickenham for the first time since 1983 in Round 1, while Italy themselves are aiming to bounce back from a 50-10 defeat at the hands of a rampant France side.
That game against Les Bleus was a mixture of positive and negative for Franco Smith’s men, with Cannone saying the squad were straight back into training to rectify the issues from the Rome defeat.
“We resumed training on Monday after the match against France and there are some aspects of our play which we can just pick up,” he explained.
“There are other areas that did not work against France, which we started working on right away.
“On Saturday we will find another high-level opponent facing us. The attitude will have to be what we showed in the last match we played against England at the Stadio Olimpico in October, but trying to get a different result.”
Cannone only made his international debut in Round 1 of last year’s Guinness Six Nations – almost exactly a year ago, in a contest against Wales in Cardiff.
And the 22-year-old says plenty has changed since then as head coach Smith looks to position the Azzurri for future success.
“One year after my debut? Compared to that moment, many players have changed,” Cannone added.
“On a personal level I have acquired more experience and I hope to be able to continue to give my contribution to the national team in the present and in the future.”