Berbizier looks to end personal hoodoo

Italy coach Pierre Berbizier is hoping to end a personal hoodoo in Scotland when he takes the Azzurri to Murrayfield in the Six Nations Championship on Saturday.

Berbizier never won at the Edinburgh venue despite a glittering playing career with France.

And he is expecting another tough test on Saturday even though he is boosted by the return from injury of Andrea Masi and Mauro Bergamasco – the pair having missed the 20-7 defeat to England in their last Six Nations encounter.

“Edinburgh is probably the most difficult away game for us in the tournament. In 10 years as a player for France I was never able to win a single game there,” said Berbizier.

“I know we will have plenty of support from our fans and this will be very positive for us.

“Let’s pick up against Scotland where we left off in the second half against England and we will do everything possible not to let down our fans.”

Having Masi and Bergamasco available will undoubtedly strengthen the Italy line-up although it is not all good news for Berbizier as he is without New Zealand-born flanker Josh Sole because of a nagging elbow injury.

“My choice of line-up is done to guarantee more continuity as we try to grow as a team,” Berbizier added.

“The game against England, despite the end result, represented a turning point for us from a psychological point of view, allowing us to work with more determination and efficiency since then.

“But the game against Scotland is not going to be easy.

“Let’s not forget that our opponents go into the encounter having beaten Wales and that in 2006 Scotland beat at Murrayfield the likes of France and England, the two teams that have already beaten us so far this year.”

Italy go into the contest having lost both of their opening two games in the 2007 tournament – 39-3 to France in the opening round and the loss at Twickenham.

365 Digital

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