With nothing to lose against Leinster, Zebre director of rugby Christian Gajan has challenged his side to draw on their encouraging recent away performances to rediscover their defensive solidity.
The Italians are still searching for their first RaboDirect PRO12 win and, after defeat to Cardiff Blues, things don’t get much easier with a trip to the RDS Dublin to face the European champions at the weekend.
But encouraged by the work ethic of his players in their last two away games, Gajan believes the stage is set for them to express their qualities against such high-calibre opposition.
“The poor attitude cost us the chance of a victory and the indiscipline and dropped balls allowed Cardiff to take advantage,” said Gajan.
“The last three games have been better for the fans, this Sunday less so, but we need to rediscover that aggressive defence, our discipline and the right attitude that we showed in Munster and against the Scarlets.
“We’ve got nothing to lose against the European champions, but we have to be at our best and show what we can do.”
Gajan also revealed Fly-half Luciano Orquera and right-wing Giovanbattista Venditti will be rested after their international exploits but the likes of Mauro Bergamasco and Quintin Geldenhuys should return.
“Our players performed well on an individual and collective basis for the national team,” he added.
“I think Luciano Orquera produced two good performances against New Zealand and Australia.
“We will be resting him and Giovanbattista Venditti but the others will come back in straight away.”