Grand Slam-winning centre Tom Shanklin has backed Welsh ''rugby brains'' to get the better of Italy in their RBS 6 Nations Championship clash at the Millennium Stadium.
Italy have shown marked improvements under new coach Pierre Berbizier and pushed England, Ireland and France for an hour before trailing off in the final quarter of each game.
Shanklin, who will be watching from the sidelines as he continues his recuperation from knee surgery, believes Saturday's game with take on a similar pattern.
But he backed Wales to bounce back from their Dublin disappointment and earn Scott Johnson his first win as caretaker coach.
''It will be a tough game for the first 60 minutes, I reckon. The Italians have a big pack and they are very disciplined,'' said Shanklin.
''They have been very good for an hour in each of their games this championship - but it comes down to rugby brains and skills. They don't have the vision or the playmakers of Wales.''
Shanklin, a key figure in Wales' Grand Slam campaign last year, has been a frustrated spectator this season after returning from the Lions tour to undergo surgery.
Shanklin has been out for the last four months but enjoyed a 15-minute run-out at the Millennium Stadium on Friday before overseeing Wales' final preparations for the Italy game.
Against Ireland a fortnight ago, Wales started like a train but fell apart after fly-half Stephen Jones limped off with a dead leg.
The squad have fielded a certain amount of criticism during the last two weeks for that defeat - but Shanklin knows the dynamics of the squad and he believes confidence remains high in the camp.
''You get some great highs in rugby and you get some great lows,'' said Shanklin.
''Last year was a massive high for everyone who was involved. This season we haven't quite performed how we wanted to in the RBS 6 Nations but I think the boys will be fine.
''We can deal with the losses because everyone can see why we did lose.
''We lost Stephen early on and Gavin Henson was thrown into the deep end in only his fifth game of the season. He is not a natural fly-half and does not command the players as Stephen does.
''But the boys are enjoying training and there is always a good buzz in the squad.
''If we win the last two games it is three from five for the championship, which, given everything that has gone on, would be pretty successful.
''It is very difficult to win back-to-back Grand Slams, especially with the injury list we have had.''