Italy’s Negri wary of dangerous Uruguay

FILE PHOTO-Rugby Union - The Killik Cup - Barbarians v World XV - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - May 28, 2023 World XV's Sebastian Negri scores their first try Action Images via Reuters/Cat Goryn/File Photo

(Reuters) – Italy have one win under their belts after their 52-8 defeat of Namibia but now face a Uruguay side which impressed against France, and back row Sebastian Negri expects a tough battle.

Uruguay denied the Rugby World Cup hosts France a bonus point when they went down bravely on Thursday in Lille, losing 27-12. Their performance will have been a warning to Italy before the sides meet in Nice.

“I saw a very aggressive team with great passion, which fought furiously for every ball and proved to be competitive from a physical point of view,” Negri said in an interview with the Italian Rugby Federation on Sunday.

“It will be a difficult match, as indeed every test match is especially at a World Cup, but against this Uruguay it will need a good performance from everyone to be able to win. They are a very dangerous team.”

The 29-year-old is also aware just where the main danger lies.

“We saw on Thursday what Uruguay did against France, battling for every ball and they put you in difficulty physically, and against a team like that the breakdown becomes very important.”

Aside from Uruguay, there were also brave performances from Portugal against Wales and Chile – at their first World Cup – against Japan.

“I think it’s a very positive thing for rugby. The fact that tier two teams play better and better helps in raising the level of the entire World Cup, as every side has to fight to get a result.”

Negri is set to earn his 50th cap if chosen by coach Kieran Crowley in the side to face Uruguay.

“Obviously I’m very proud of this milestone, both for myself and for my family, and for everyone who has followed me since the beginning of my journey,” he said.

Italy and Uruguay meet on Wednesday with Italy looking to gain another win before facing New Zealand and France.

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