Italy needs just one point to go through from Group Eight as winners, but if the Irish win it will keep their World Cup dream alive.
His responded when asked how it would be to beat his native country: “Do you have a friend? Do you play cards? Do you want to win or do you want to lose?
“These two games will be for us the passport to South Africa. We know Italy are the world champions and they are still one of the best three or four teams in the world.
“Maybe for Italy there is only prestige in the result; for us, these two games are not only big games, but they are important to our hopes of going to South Africa and the World Cup.”
He added: “We always play for three points, in every game we play for three points.
“We can’t think about a draw being enough for us, that would be very dangerous.
“We have to believe in our attitude, we have to believe in our discipline, and up until now, we have achieved good results because of that mentality.”