Italy fly-half Roland de Marigny believes the Azzurri could realise their potential at the World Cup in France in 2007.
John Kirwan's side underlined their promise with a win over Scotland and narrow defeats by Ireland and France in this year's RBS 6 Nations following an encouraging performance in last year's World Cup in Australia.
With the New Zealander re-affirming his desire to stay and lead the club into the 2007 tournament, the future looks bright for the Azzurri.
"I believe we did a very good RBS 6 Nations even if in the end we won only one game, but our spirit and game play was good," De Marginy said.
"I'm very happy (coach John) Kirwan has been given a new contract and even if I don't get any more call-ups from him, I'll still support the federation's decision to confirm a coach like him.
"Italy can get better and better and I'm positive will see a more strong and experienced squad in the next Six Nations," the 28-year-old stand-off added.
"I think the fact we are a young squad gives us a promising future and also we can target the big tournament like France 2007 where we'll go with lots of hope."
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.