Andrea De Rossi will captain Italy for their RBS 6 Nations opener against England but coach John Kirwan is yet to name his final 22-man squad.
Italy entertain Sir Clive Woodward's world champions at the Flaminio Stadium on Sunday with Kirwan facing a mounting injury list and he will give his walking wounded every chance to prove their fitness.
"I still need another day to decide on the 22 players for the first match against England.
"At present there are a few players under observation from our medical staff - like Silvio Orlando and Santiago Dellape, who has just recovered from an ankle problem. We want be sure he is fully fit.
"Mirco Bergamasco has picked up a slight knock and I have spoken with Gonzalo Canale who is ready to return to training but we are still waiting on Alessandro Troncon.
"He has been out for a while and it is better for him to return for his club before joining up with the Azzurri so Andrea De Rossi will be our captain."
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
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.