Ramiro Pez believes he is finally mature enough to pull the strings for fast-improving Italy in this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The Argentina-born fly-half has been central to the renaissance under French head coach Pierre Berbizier after finding himself frozen out under former boss John Kirwan.
Now 28, the Perpignan number 10 reckons he is in the form of his life and believes the Azzurri are now beginning to realise their potential.
Their performances and results appear to back up that assessment, with competitive displays in the opening two matches of this year's tournament and Pez dictating the play behind the scrum.
"I feel good," Pez said. "I have been playing at my very best since the Six Nations began.
"Everything is going well around me when I'm on the pitch. My team-mates are exceptional, trying to stay close to me and we are also helping each other, which is allowing me to take the game to another level."
Italy may have lost both games, extending their losing run in the competition to nine matches in Saturday's defeat to England in Rome, seven days after coming close to their first ever away win in Ireland on the opening weekend.
Pez admits the Ireland defeat still hurts, but believes the England game demonstrated how much he has improved tactically, with his decision to kick two drop goals briefly seeing Italy hold the lead against the world champions.
"The team has come from two exciting matches," he said.
"We lost both, but in the first game we played so well but were so unlucky. A few decisions during the match cost us our first ever away victory in this tournament.
"Against England, I saw maturity in me. I was so happy with my decision to kick the drops goals, especially the first which I believe was a beauty.
"But rugby is not only attacking or scoring tries or even goals. I must be at my best in a decision-making situation, when I have to tackle at my best, which will a great benefit to my team."
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.