Italy captain Marco Bortolami has urged his side to show no fear despite admitting they face a "lethal" France side in the RBS 6 Nations next weekend.
The young lock reckons the Azzurri need to emulate the performances from their opening two games and try and frustrate Les Bleus in the Stade de France.
Those displays may have both ended in defeat against Ireland and England, but were a vast improvement on Italy's showing in the RBS 6 Nations in recent seasons, and 25-year-old Bortolami believes next Saturday's game may finally yield their first-ever away win in the competition.
He said: "Our defence must be everywhere to contain their attacks and try to breakdown their pace, and if we are still in the game as time goes on, it will be more than interesting, and frustration may come to the French team.
"If they are go onto the pitch at 100 per cent, aiming to play a great Six Nations game, it will be hard for us, but not impossible.
"We must not fear anybody, like we did against Ireland and England."
Bortolami, who comes up against many of Les Bleus' stars when playing in the France's Top 14 for Narbonne, pointed to the game against Ireland as an example of their opponents' recent fragility and insists Italy are ready to take full advantage.
After their shock loss in Scotland on the opening weekend, France looked to have bounced back in ominous fashion when they stormed into a 43-3 lead against the Irish, but they suddenly ran out of steam and ended up hanging on for what became a nailbiting 43-31 win.
"I watched their match against the Irish and in the first half they played well but when Ireland came back into the game, even if was a bit too late, I saw great pressure around Les Blues," Bortolami added.
Despite his optimism, he and his teammate are under no illusions over the task facing Pierre Berbizier's side.
"We are going to face a great team with great individual players," Bortolami said. "France are a great team, especially if they face you on a great day.
"They can easily thrash you, especially in the first part of the game. At home they are always able to start with a great display of rugby.
"I know most of them well, as I play against them in the French Top 14. I admire all of them, they are a strong force, and I believe they are a lethal team who can finish you off at any moment."
Bortolami highlighted the threat of half-backs Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and Frederic Michalak and believes stopping them could be the key to success.
"We need to be especially careful and take extra care of players like Elissalde and Michalak who are capable of creating dangerous situations at any moment, even when things are calm."
Conor O'Shea will lead his side to matches against Fiji and Australia
30 March 2017, 2:36pm
After a disappointing RBS 6 Nations campaign for the Azzurri - losing all five of their Championship matches and picking up their 12th Wooden Spoon - they will be licking their wounds ahead of their summer tour Down Under.
The 2017 RBS 6 Nations was watched by record numbers of fans
29 March 2017, 12:25pm
After an enthralling RBS 6 Nations Championship of twists, turns, and no small amount of drama on the last day, figures show the RBS 6 Nations is going from strength to strength, year on year, with no sign of slowing down.