The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
That performance Sole argues, where Italy were mere seconds away from a first ever Six Nations defeat of Ireland before eventually succumbing to a Ronan O’Gara drop goal, was a truer indication of their form.
But Sole also believes not being able to close out the final stages when they led 11-10 also encapsulates Italy’s Achilles’ heel in the Six Nations.
He said: “After the match Nick and Alessandro (Troncon) made us watch those lost four minutes over and over again.
“We saw how many opportunities we had thrown away and how Ireland used their experience to win the game.
“It was also a case of not knowing what to do in that situation – we lost that game through our own faults and that’s the thing that is holding us back.
“But that said there were a lot of positives to come out of the match. We have done a lot of work with our new contact coach Omar Mouneimne on the breakdown and that really came through in that game.
“I don’t know what happened against England. It was like the Italy of ten years ago but to me it was a one-off game where everything went wrong for us and right for them.
“Although we have not got many wins under Nick that is because we are nearly always playing teams ranked higher than us.
“We are making great strides and I hope you will see that in the rest of the Six Nations and through to the World Cup.”
While Sole is likely to be in action this weekend, it will be at the Stadio Zaffanella rather than the Stadio Flaminio for Aironi’s match against Munster, while Italy welcome Wales.
Aironi have yet to win a game in their maiden Magners League season while Treviso have performed well above expectations with seven victories from their opening 14 matches.
And competing against the best of the Celtic nations on a weekly basis, Sole believes, will transform the Italian game in the long run.
He said: “You are already seeing the fact we have far more strength in depth than in previous years.
“It has forced us all to raise our standards because we are playing against quality players week in, week out.
“There are also some great youngsters coming through that are getting this experience that previous Italian youngsters would not have benefitted from.
“Tommaso Benvenuti is going to be a big player as is Alberto Sgarbi while Luke McLean is only 22 so I think the future is really bright for Italian rugby right now.”