Jacques Brunel has been in charge of Italy since 2011
Italy coach Jacques Brunel has urged his players to show an improved desire this autumn as they look to consign a disappointing year to the history books.
The Azzurri finished rock bottom of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations and followed that up with a winless run in their Pacific tour, falling to defeats against Fiji, Japan and Samoa.
And if 2013 was a year of progress - beating France and Ireland along the way - Brunel wants a return to that form starting with the visit of Samoa on November 8.
"We took a step backwards last year and lost matches that we could have and should have won," Brunel told AFP.
"We lacked spirit, but this is something we've worked on-our hunger for victory."
Brunel has refreshed his squad for the autumn, including Samuela Vunisa, Simone Ragusi and New-Zealand born Kelly Haimona for the first time.
Utility back Haimona said: "I still see myself as a Maori boy from a small town in New Zealand, so to come this far having done all the hard work to get into the Italy squad makes it all the more special."
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.
England Under-20s may have agonisingly missed out on a third straight World Rugby U20 Championship title on Saturday but head coach Jon Callard is adamant that fans are witnessing the next generation of international superstars.