Scheming Italy aims to 'disrupt' Wallabies

Jun 20, 2017 - 6:41 AM Italy are unlikely to revisit their controversial no-rucking tactics but back-rower Dries van Schalkwyk has promised the Azzurri will find other ways to "disrupt" the embattled Wallabies in Brisbane.

Italy have become renown for their innovative strategies after making global headlines this year for their approach against England in the Six Nations at Twickenham, which infuriated coach Eddie Jones.

By not committing any players after a tackle was made, Italy prevented rucks forming and were able to stray offside and stand between baffled English players.

Jones slammed it as anti-rugby but many observers, including Sir Clive Woodward, commended Italy coach Conor O'Shea for thinking outside the box.

South African-born van Schalkwyk played in that match, an eventual 36-15 defeat for Italy, and hinted a different tactical move was in the works for Australia on Saturday.

"That was a once-off. We probably won't do that again," said van Schalkwyk, who dreamed of representing the Springboks but made his Azzurri debut last year after moving to Parma-based Pro12 franchise Zebre in 2012.

"But we always try and create confusion and to disrupt.

"We'll go for that again against Australia.

"The number one thing is we want to be a really hard team to play against - something Scotland has done and shown.

"I think the guys are starting to (build) connections and combinations and are getting better.

"The things we want to do are coming off but we're a team that likes to come up with surprises and to cause confusion.

"Let's see what comes up this weekend."

Italy has brought a young squad to Australia with about seven of their first-choice players, including veteran No.8 and regular captain Sergio Perisse, either injured or left at home.

Van Schalkwyk, 32, said the Wallabies weren't going as badly as what some Australian fans believed and expected they would throw everything at Italy in their final Test before their Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand in August.

"We've had a good look at them. Don't think that they are playing bad rugby because they lost to Scotland," he said.

"Scotland's a very good team, they've shown that. They beat three teams in the Six Nations this year."

Source: AAP

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