Italy team manager Carlo Checchinato is confident his side can cope with the loss of talisman Mauro Bergamasco when they take on Wales in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on Saturday.
Bergamasco, the Stade Francais flanker, is one of the Azzurri's stand-out performers but he has been ruled out of the clash at the Millennium Stadium with a thigh injury he picked up on club duty last weekend.
The 26-year-old's absence will come as a huge blow to Italy, who will be guaranteed to end up with the wooden spoon if they lose in Cardiff following successive losses to Ireland, England and France in the opening three games.
Aaron Persico has been called into the squad as a replacement and Checchinato feels the remainder of the squad are talented enough to shoulder the loss of Bergamasco.
"Certainly Bergamasco's injury will be a problem for us," he said. "He is important and charismatic and is certainly one of our best players.
"But it will not be huge because we have some great replacements and I'm sure whichever players go on to the pitch on Saturday instead of Bergamasco will do their best to help the team and hopefully get our first Six Nations away win.
"We are going to face a Wales team who have got a few injury problems of their own to sort out before Saturday but they are still a great team with strong individuals."
Wales, whose campaign has been blighted by injury problems and the resignation of Mike Ruddock as head coach, appear to be a shadow of the side that won the Grand Slam last season.
Their only win in this year's competition came against a Scotland side who were forced to play with only 14 men for almost an hour of the match following the sending-off of lock Scott Murray.
Italy will therefore fancy their chances of causing an upset and Checchinato added: "It will be very hard to beat them but not impossible. We are ready to face them.
"We must play together, defend at our best and take all our chances if we are to win."
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.