Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll will set a new appearance record when he takes field against Italy in the Six Nations. Reuters

Smarting from the loss to England, which ended their hopes of a Grand Slam, Ireland will be determined to get back to winning ways when they entertain beleaguered Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday.

The 13-10 defeat to England would have been a painful one for Ireland to swallow, but that result also made this year's Six Nations extremely interesting with four teams - Ireland, England, Wales and France - all standing an excellent chance of picking up the title, having garnered two wins from three games each.

The game against Italy will be a momentous one for Ireland and their talisman Brian O'Driscoll, who is about to create a new record for international appearances with his 140th Test cap, while playing his last game on Irish soil.

"He's given so much for Ireland and for his teammates, and I've been lucky enough to be his teammate for the last eight years," Jamie Heaslip said. "So I feel extremely privileged to have been able to play so many games with him. But it's weird, there's no talk of it amongst the players.

"He's approaching it like any other game, and to be honest that's what you really expect from a man of his calibre. It might be a bit emotional for him, but he's been in a lot of games like this, where it's potentially his last game at home.

"For us it's not an issue, and for him I can't imagine it would be either. He's approached the game the same as always.

"He looks as sharp as ever: he's as focused as ever, he knows exactly what he's doing. There's still a lot to be playing for, and that's what we've got to focus on now."

Ireland will be without Peter O'Mahony, who is ruled out with a hamstring problem, with Iain Henderson set to come in his stead. Jonathan Sexton has been passed fit after recovering from a thumb injury, though.

"He's in good shape, he's a good athlete, and we felt he made quite an impact when he came on against England," Ireland coach Joe said Schmidt said of Henderson, who is set to make his second international start. "He's got a really good future at both international and the provincial scene.

"There was a decent temptation to make a few more changes. We think there are players out there who have earned an opportunity, but we have to balance that with continuity that we've had.

"Some players had a weekend off last week with their provinces, and if they miss two weekends it wouldn't be the best preparation for France. I think the team we have selected reflects the respect we have for Italy."

Italy, who have not won a single game so far, and suffered an agonising 21-20 defeat to Scotland in their last Test, have plenty of injuries to worry about with Sergio Parisse joining Alessandro Fanni on the sidelines, while Edoardo Gorri and Tomasso Allan have been replaced by Tito Tebaldi and Luciano Orquera.

"The choices made are not in relation to next Saturday's game in Rome against England but based on consistency that we want to have," Italy coach Jacques Brunel said. "The next match is against Ireland and we have prepared for the match against that opponent."

Six Nations: Ireland vs Italy Live TV information (Match starts 2.30 pm GMT, 8 pm IST, 9.30 am ET)

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Six Nations: Ireland vs Italy Live Streaming information (Match starts 2.30 pm GMT, 8 pm IST, 9.30 am ET)

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