John Kirwan has warned Wales they will be entering the 'Colosseum' of Italian rugby when they run out at the Stadio Flaminio this weekend.
Italy's coach believes the resurgent Welsh will be greeted by a hostile atmosphere as the vocal Azzurri supporters make their presence felt in what will be the ground's second successive sell-out.
''Wales are a strong side who have grown in confidence since beating us in the World Cup and last year's Six Nations,'' said the former All Black winger.
''But they must come to our Colosseum where we will have a big crowd behind us,'' he predicted, looking forward to his team's second RBS 6 Nations outing of 2005 on Saturday.
''It was fantastic to see the way our fans supported us against Ireland and it will be the same atmosphere again.''
Italy enter their second championship clash in high spirits following an opening defeat which came in hugely encouraging circumstances - 28-17 against favourites Ireland.
It therefore came as little surprise when Kirwan named an unchanged side on Wednesday afternoon.
In contrast to the build-up to last weekend - when Kirwan's squad was ravaged by flu and injury - preparations for the Wales showdown have been problem free.
Wales are not short on confidence themselves after edging past world champions England 11-9, but Kirwan has told his players he will not be satisfied by another encouraging performance alone.
''I thought Wales played a great match against England - the complete game. It was a superb performance from their backs and forwards, which put enormous pressure on England,'' he said.
''We also did well and have received a lot of compliments. But while that's nice, we didn't win the game. I want to instil a winning mentality into this side - we must forget about Ireland and concentrate on beating Wales.''
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.