Saturday 21 September 2019

Archer warns of tough assignment in Italy

Munster prop Stephen Archer. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster prop Stephen Archer. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Munster prop Stephen Archer is expecting a tough outing in Parma this Sunday as his side seek to maintain their perfect record against Zebre.

Munster have won all 12 meetings between the sides, and claimed a 36-19 win in the corresponding fixture last season, but under the leadership of former Munster player Michael Bradley, Archer thinks the Italians are a totally different proposition.

"Yeah, it will be tough. We've lost out there once (in Italy against Treviso) and Zebre have had some big wins," he said. "They've beaten Edinburgh out there and Cardiff, and Cardiff are a good squad. Cardiff beat us well and Zebre beat them out there easy enough in September. So we won't be taking them for granted."

Italy wrap up their November internationals this weekend when they face New Zealand in Rome, so Zebre will be understrength.

In total, 14 Zebre squad members were called into Conor O'Shea's squad for November, which included a clash with Ireland in Chicago. Archer says it's hard to know what to expect.

"It's hard to know with the Italian squad and who'll be back. It's hard to read what kind of team they have but I am sure Michael Bradley will have them well up for it and they'll certainly be out to prove a point against us."

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