Italy full-back Cristian Stoica believes the Azzurri can pull off a surprise on Saturday when they visit France in the RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Italy have never won a Six Nations match away from Rome and Bernard Laporte's French team are considered potential World Cup winners next year, but Stoica will not rule out a shock result at the Stade de France.
Stoica, 29, said: "The French domestic league is far harder and the professional level is very high, so I believe overall the French players are coming into this Six Nations tournament more tired than we are.
"I know them very well and I assure you they are strong but it doesn't matter to me because, the way I see things now, I see my team very strong and ready to face big teams and great players."
Playing at the vast Stade de France, which dwarfs Italy's Stadio Flaminio, also holds no fears for the Romania-born back.
"Personally I will not fear the 80,000 people in the Stade de France on Saturday, I believe our own worst enemies are ourselves," added Stoica, who can play centre but has been at full-back for the opening two games of the tournament.
"If we play calmly and keep out of the firing line the game could go differently to expected and it would be a great occasion if we could go all the way."
Stoica added: "It will be hard. I mean it will be very hard but if we are to play from the start to the end at our very best without letting up it could be interesting, even crucial, because I have seen the French a bit too tired in last 20 minutes, especially against Ireland."
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.