"I knew it would mean a lot to him, so I said as much".
A similar scoreline in favour of Ireland would not be a surprise given recent encounters between the nations, with the emerald isle claiming 58-15 and 63-10 victories in the last two editions of the Six Nations and if Schmidt's men are to be in contention come Round 5, a bonus-point is a necessity on home soil this weekend.
Prop Nicola Quaglio will make his first start for Italy in one of three changes announced by coach Conor O'Shea on Thursday to the team for Saturday's Six Nations clash against Ireland in Dublin.
Dan Leavy makes his first global start coming in for the injured Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan makes his Six Nations debut at number 8, while there are also starts for Devon Toner and Jack McGrath.
The former Ireland international's side are looking to bounce back from defeat by England in their opening Six Nations match.
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Gerard, the 17-year-old from the United States, put up a 87.16 in his final run after struggling in his first two opportunities. McMorris, 24, who also won a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is no stranger to serious injury.
"Two of the tries came from the attack".
From there it was one-way traffic and a second try soon arrived when some delightful interplay led to scrum-half Murray darting over to score.
Sexton's fourth goal made it 28-0 at the break and effectively finished the match as a serious contest as well as securing the bonus-point. "We think we've got opportunities in the coming three matches if we hold the ball and play the way we can".
Henshaw's potential absence would leave Ireland vulnerable in midfield where they were already without Garry Ringrose, although Schmidt said the young centre was making really good progress recuperating from an ankle injury and has a shot at returning for Leinster during next weekend's Six Nations break.
However, with the game long gone the Italians found some spark and Tommaso Castello got the better of Dan Leavy to release Tommaso Allan with the fly-half going over and converting his try to put Italy on the scoreboard with just over 20 minutes to go.