Italy starlet Sergio Parisse believes his side will come up against one of the best teams in world rugby when they kick-off their RBS 6 Nations campaign this weekend.
The Azzurri face Ireland at the Stadio Flaminio on Sunday - and the highly-rated No 8 insists Eddie O'Sullivan's men will be dangerous opposition.
But the 21-year-old back-rower is in confident mood and he feels the support of the home crowd could play a massive part in the outcome.
"I played against Leinster twice this year in the European Cup with Benetton, and they have lots of players who will play against us on Sunday," said Parisse.
"I believe Ireland's scrum and three-quarters are one of the best in the world.
"I will go onto the pitch with the aim of playing at a high level in the Azzurri shirt after 10 months out and I have lots of faith in this group who, despite being young, have been together for a long time.
"In the Stadio Flaminio, I hope the Roman fans will warm to us and push us on for a great result."
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.