Alun-Wyn Jones will make his debut as Wales captain next week - and he could keep the job for a potential RBS 6 Nations title showdown against Ireland.
Wales boss Warren Gatland wants to experience "selection headaches" before facing the Grand Slam-chasing Irish in Cardiff on March 21.
Jones will give Gatland plenty of food for thought if he leads Wales to a stylish, points-laden victory over Six Nations whipping boys Italy in Rome.
Gatland's 2008 Grand Slam captain Ryan Jones is widely expected to return for the Ireland game, but, asked if Alun-Wyn Jones may retain the role should Wales deliver at Stadio Flaminio, Gatland replied: "Why not?"
Ryan Jones is among 10 players who drop out of Gatland's starting XV, following the Grand Slam-ending defeat against France six days ago.
Jones will be a replacement in Rome - fellow Grand Slam stars like Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips and Tom Shanklin join him - and Gatland's support cast have now been challenged to hog the limelight.
Gatland said: "We have decided to back the squad and the depth of the squad.
"The top teams have no worries about making changes. The All Blacks, for instance, put out almost a second team against Scotland in November - they backed their squad's strength in depth.
"This is an opportunity for a lot of players to put themselves in contention for the Ireland game. There is nothing better than having selection headaches the following week.
"Alun-Wyn has had a fantastic season so far. He is well respected by the players and he will lead from the front. He is a possible Wales captain of the future.
"I spoke to Ryan yesterday and said I planned to make a number of changes. I told him he would be on the bench, and he had no problem with it.
"There are a lot of players in the squad who have worked hard but not had the opportunity. We are giving them a chance.
"We have come a long way in the last 12 months and achieved a fantastic amount, but the best teams in the world develop depth of experience in their squad and back themselves.
"The choice of Alun-Wyn as captain next week is an example of us doing exactly that and also looking to the future."
Before Will Greenwood started breaking down moves off the field, he was doing the business on it - and no match better illustrated the type of marauding centre he was than in a virtuoso performance against Wales.