Italian wing Christian Stoica is already looking ahead to next year's RBS 6 Nations tournament and is confident the team can continue to improve their results.
The Azzurri produced some battling displays this season, including a confidence-boosting win over Scotland, and Stoica believes the side can now start to build on that for the next competition in 2005.
"It was a great experience this year in the Six Nations,'' Stoica said.
"As well as avoiding the wooden spoon with a victory over Scotland at the Flaminio Stadium, we have played better than before and our defence was outstanding without forgetting that we are still are a young team.
"I believe next year if we go into the Six Nations with more experience and with the right spirit and confidence, we can win more than one game.''
The 27-year-old was also delighted by John Kirwan's recent decision to stay on and coach the Italian until the 2007 World Cup.
"Our road to the future is in good hands and I'm very happy about the confirmation of our coach until 2007,'' Stoica added.
"It is a great thing for Italian rugby because will we have stability and the chance to work with the same coach up until the World Cup in France.''
Alongside his international exploits, Stoica has been enjoying a stellar season with his club Montpellier, who are competing for the first time in the French top-flight and will contest the final of the Parker Pen Shield against Viadana on May 21.
Despite their success, Stoica is refusing to rule out a move away from Montpellier in the near future. "I don't know about my future at present,'' he said.
"I'm still with Montpellier but you never know what can happen next.''
Henry Slade admits he could not watch his England team-mates celebrate their RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam triumph after suffering injury heartbreak, but now has the Red Rose's summer tour to Australia in his sights.