Italy scrum-half Alessandro Troncon believes that the Azzurri can still salvage some pride from the 2005 RBS 6 Nations tournament even though their final two matches are against world champions England and France.
Home defeats at the hands of Wales and Ireland and a reverse at the hands of Scotland in Edinburgh in a match seen by many as the likely "wooden spoon" decider leave Italy facing the prospect of five defeats in five matches.
But, while Troncon admits the two remaining matches will be tough, he has not yet given up hope of a rally from John Kirwan's side.
Troncon said: "From now on we have to give more than what we have given so far.
"Against the English it will be very hard, they haven't won a game yet - the same situation we are in.
"But they are still a great team and are reigning world champions.
"I believe they will do everything to gain the first RBS 6 Nations for their fans, especially at home.
"Also the last game against the French will be a very hard task for us but I'm sure if we play at our best and make fewer mistakes we can really be proud of ourselves."
Troncon admits he is relieved to be back in the famous blue jersey after the injury that sidelined him from the 2004 RBS 6 Nations campaign.
Troncon said: "I must admit that returning to the squad and playing three games in this RBS 6 Nations wasn't in my plans.
"I can't believe I made it after last year's injuries."
After losing their Under-20s Six Nations crown to England Under-20s in a thrilling final round, France Under-20s lock Tristan Labouteley insists his side will be out for revenge at this year's Junior World Championship.