Stephen Jones has identified Wales' nailbiting Millennium Stadium victory over world champions England as the springboard for RBS 6 Nations success.
Six weeks after Gavin Henson's late, long-range penalty sent England crashing in Cardiff, Wales will go for championship, Triple Crown and Grand Slam glory when they tackle Ireland on Saturday.
Fly-half Jones, who made his Test debut against South Africa seven years ago, has been through the tough times - such as a 2003 RBS 6 Nations whitewash - and is now playing the best rugby of a 47-cap international career.
And the 27-year-old believes beating England gave Wales lift-off for what will be their first Grand Slam campaign since 1978 if they defeat fellow title contenders Ireland.
"It began, really, at the last World Cup, when we started picking our performances up with gradual improvement," he said.
"But it came to a point where we hadn't got a victory over a major team, although we had a good chance to beat the All Blacks last autumn, but we didn't take it.
"We were slowly improving, and then getting that big scalp of England's in the first Six Nations game was important for us. The confidence was there then, and things have really snowballed since.
"If you look at our squad now, compared with the squad in 2003, a large percentage of personnel is the same. It's still a young squad, and there is a lot of rugby left in it.
"What's great is the youngsters who are coming in are coming into a squad that has winning ways, which is very important."
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.