Ireland boast plenty of talent in their side with several familiar Super League names hoping to give them the platform to be competitive in their group.
Mark Aston's 17 looks like it could compete on paper with the pack in particular looking strong. Leeds' Brad Singleton is joined by Saints pair Kyle Amor and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook as well as Wigan hooker Michael McIlorum.
Ireland don't look quite as strong in the backs but still boast several talented players with New Zealand born Api Pewhairangi hoping to form a good partnership with the experienced Liam Finn.
Analysis - what to expect Italy come into this game with a 13.5 handicap advantage according to the bookies but given the quality of this Irish team, they may be able to keep this match within that figure. The Irish have plenty of size and experience in their camp with the likes of Amor, Singleton, Finn and McCarthy-Scarsbrook able to compete with the best so this could easily be one of the more competitive games in the opening round of matches despite what the bookies may think.
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