Italy head coach Kieran Crowley believes Uruguay “pose a massive threat” ahead of their clash at the Stade de Nice.
The teams meet in Pool A on Wednesday and the Gli Azzurri will look to build on their dominant opening win against Namibia, which they won 52-8.
However, Crowley knows exactly what challenges their South American opponents can pose after they tested France on Thursday and the hosts emerged victorious.
“Uruguay poses a massive threat. I was in Canada 15 years ago and they were just starting to get their systems right,” Crowley said.
“They have a central program in Montevideo. The majority of their team plays for a club in the Central American Championship. Add to that the players who play in France and you have a pretty impressive team.
“You have 19 players who have played in one or two World Cups. We expect this physical fight. You saw in the France game that their breakdown work was excellent.”
Italy made four changes for the game: Niccolo Cannone, Alessandro Garbisi and Lorenzo Pani are all in the starting XI, while Saracens’ Marco Riccioni starts in the front row. Star player Ange Capuozzo was moved from wing to full-back.
Uruguay head coach Esteban Meneses also made two changes to his team after the defeat against France: hooker German Kessler and winger Gaston Mieres start.