Injured Wales skipper Gareth Thomas has been warned not to rush his recovery from the broken thumb that means he will not play again in this season's RBS 6 Nations and could conceivably leave him facing a fitness race ahead of the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in May.
Thomas is likely to be replaced by Kevin Morgan for Wales' last two RBS 6 Nations games and national squad physiotherapist Mark Davies says he must be patient on the comeback trail.
"Alfie (Thomas) is not conventional in how he conforms to advice and treatment," claimed Davies.
"As soon as he comes out of plaster, he wants to get back playing.
"He has undergone as big an operation on your thumb as you can have. He has been saying a week out of plaster, and he is going to be back in action, but I am sure that reality will strike in the cold light of day.
"He will come out of plaster very stiff and having to restore mobility in his thumb. I am sure he will see the benefits of what he has been told."
Thomas is due to have the plaster removed in mid-April, possibly the same week as Sir Clive Woodward announces his 44-man Lions squad for New Zealand.
For Jacques Brunel and Italy the goal for every RBS 6 Nations is to win games, but, in this his fourth and final Championship in charge, the head coach is just as worried about performances as results.
Sam Burgess' first outing wearing the Red Rose was relatively quiet but after helping England Saxons to a 18-9 win over the Irish Wolfhounds head coach Jon Callard has backed the rugby-league convert to be a hit in union.