Rising Italy star Paul Griffen is the latest member of the Azzurri side to hail John Kirwan's decision to stay on as national team coach.
Griffen, who like Kirwan was born in New Zealand, believes it is vital that Kirwan remains so Italy can build on their recent showings in the RBS 6 Nations.
Under the guidance of Kirwan, Italy have managed to avoid the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon in the last two seasons having finished bottom of the standings in each of their first three tournaments.
"I'm very happy about John Kirwan's confirmation as coach until the World Cup in France because he has been outstanding with us until now. All the players are happy for him and for us," Griffen said.
"Now we can focus on our main targets - like the next RBS 6 Nations and the World Cup 2007 where we will go with high hopes and certainly with more experience."
The 29-year-old added: "I think our team is getting very strong, especially when we defend and I'm sure our backroom staff will sort out the attacking line which has been our weak point in the 6 Nations."
Griffen, who has been a revelation since Kirwan handed him the scrum-half berth and was named in the best XV for the RBS 6 Nations, has also committed his immediate future to his club side Calvisano.
"My future is with Calvisano for at least another year and after that we will see what happens. But at present I'm happy to stay in Italy and certainly very happy to be part of the Italian team."
The 2017 RBS 6 Nations was watched by record numbers of fans
29 March 2017, 12:25pm
After an enthralling RBS 6 Nations Championship of twists, turns, and no small amount of drama on the last day, figures show the RBS 6 Nations is going from strength to strength, year on year, with no sign of slowing down.