ANY GIVEN MONDAY

If the All Blacks wanted their final pool match to be a stress-free tune-up before the knockout phase of the World Cup, they have the misfortune to be facing a team that will be playing for its life on Saturday.

Then again, they have the great fortune that the team in question is Italy.

Gli Azzurri remain World Rugby's greatest embarrassment. Despite being handed a giant leg-up they neither deserved nor earned by virtue of the unchallenged position in one of the rugby's two big annual tournaments, Italy have retained the faith by remaining defiantly useless.

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