Wed, Oct 01, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Italy may use reserves as fodder for the All Blacks


Coach John Kirwan may field a squad of reserves for Italy's opening match against New Zealand in the rugby union World Cup.

Realizing that even his top players would likely be beaten easily by one of rugby's most powerful sides, Kirwan indicated Monday that he would probably rest his best players until the team's second match against Tonga four days later.

"The biggest problem of this World Cup is the calendar, with matches so close together it will be difficult to recover," Kirwan, a former New Zealand player, said at the official "Azzurri" presentation before the team departs for Australia today.

"I have to make choices taking into consideration the characteristics of the adversaries. So, against the All Blacks you'll see one team and against Tonga another."

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