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Kirwan eyes unlikely victory
4 February 2004 15:42pm
Italy coach John Kirwan has set out his 2004 RBS 6 Nations targets - and he has not discounted a victory over title holders England.
Italy face the toughest possible start to the tournament, with games against England and France.
But Kirwan is upbeat about his team's prospects as they look to begin improving a poor championship record since their debut four years ago.
England travel to Rome as red-hot favourites to launch their defence of the RBS 6 Nations title in emphatic winning fashion, but they will be foolish to underestimate Kirwan's side.
"We were disappointed with our World Cup campaign. Our intention was to make the top eight in that tournament, and we were all disappointed that we didn't," Kirwan said.
"As far as the 6 Nations goes, I want to see an improvement this season. We need to win at least one game, and we also need to start winning away."
Italy have never beaten England, and their chances seem remote, despite having home advantage at a sold-out Stadio Flaminio.
"I want the team to play to the best of its ability. I really believe in these guys, and I believe that we can beat anyone on the day," added Kirwan.
"England and France are our first two games, so there is probably more pressure on us in the third match against Scotland than against either England or France.
"We are getting better, although we have problems in terms of cover in certain positions.
"We are strong in some areas, and weaker in others, but as a team we must try to be more consistent."
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