If Hook plays any part in the match in Rome he will win his 50th cap, although he has only 14 starts at fly-half to date.
And it would appear he has done enough to convince selectors he is worth sticking with over 97-cap and double British and Irish Lion Stephen Jones.
Having made wholesale changes for their visit to the Stadio Flaminio two years ago, Wales needed a late Tom Shanklin try to save their blushes and they look set to put out a stronger side this time around.
"I thought his balance and mix of game early on when we had control of the ball was excellent," said former Wales scrum-half and current attack coach Rob Howley.
"It is very difficult when you haven't started an international there for that period of time, but we were pleased with how James went.
"He was quite critical about his own performance, which is actually good from a coach's perspective.
"I'm sure he will want to start at 10 again next Saturday.
"We have learnt lessons from what happened two years ago and there won't be many changes this time.
"It's important we have continuity.
"We want to build on the positive aspects of our performance against Scotland."