Six Nations

Departing Brunel expecting better from Italy

Jacques Brunel hopes to end his Italy career on a high with an improved performance at the Six Nations after a disappointing Rugby World Cup.

Brunel will leave his coaching role with the national team after the tournament, with former Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea widely tipped to replace him.

During his five-year tenure Brunel equalled Italy's best Six Nations finish of fourth in 2013, but he was left frustrated after failing to make it out of the pool at the recent World Cup.

"This time it's definitely the last one for me," he told the Midi Olympique. "There's no nostalgia but I'm excited, as I am before every Six Nations. 

"You never know what is going to happen, especially after the World Cup. The teams will change, some will be out for revenge, some will want to back up their performances.

"For us the aim will be to have a good tournament after a World Cup in which we thought we could have done better."

Italy begin their Six Nations campaign against France this weekend before hosting England in Rome, the first of two home matches.

Brunel added: "Every year we have two ambitions. The first is consistency - it's our weakness. First in terms of performance within a game, but also from one game to the next. Our problem is our lack of consistency.

"The second objective is the same as every year: to win our games in Rome. This year we have two home games so we want two wins. Last year we didn't play well in our home games."

England are the only side Italy have failed to beat in the Six Nations.