John Kirwan's decision to stay on as Italy coach is the best news the team could have hoped for, according to Azzurri captain Andrea De Rossi.
Kirwan has agreed to sign a new contract with the Italian Rugby Federation that will see him in charge of the national team until the 2007 World Cup.
"This was the best solution for the players, because Kirwan started a project nearly two years ago with a few good results and now we have the chance to go to the next World Cup with the same coach," De Rossi said.
"This make me happy because we don't have to change our methods or use different tactics and we are now able to follow the same path," he added.
Italian rugby supremo Giancarlo Dondi was also satisfied to have got his man, although he believes Kirwan is not yet the finished article as an international coach.
"Of course I'm happy to renew the contract of John, who I rate a lot, even if, in my point of view, he needs a little more experience as a manager at the highest level," the president of Italian Rugby Federation said.
"It was important to continue with him because we also have to play the RBS 6 Nations every year and not only the World Cup in France," Dondi added.
"We know everything about him and I haven't asked him for any big target to achieve, but we must follow the good things done until now and get better as team.
"Also I want to see the team grow more, get the right experience and be ready for the next World Cup where we must give our best shot," he said.