Ireland need only recall Scottish and Welsh misery at the Stadio Flaminio in previous years to see the potential for disaster held by a trip to Rome on the first Sunday of the RBS 6 Nations championship.
But it is hard to see Eddie O'Sullivan's Triple Crown holders - touted by many as tournament favourites with the possibility of a Grand Slam title also currying favour - coming unstuck against Italy.
The Ireland camp has made all the right noises in the build up to the match, citing the excellent work undertaken by coach John Kirwan is developing the competition's traditional whipping boys into a more rounded side.
And while it is true Italy performances are more assured with the passing of each tournament, their primary objective is still to avoid the wooden spoon - a challenge well within their grasp given Scotland's glaring deficiencies.
The Azzurri will be helped by the return of Alessandro Troncon. Their half-backs have seen regular changes in personnel and the veteran Treviso star - a former Italy captain - should provide some stability.
Up-front they will undoubtedly let Ireland know they have been in a genuine Test match such is the strength of their forwards, but Brian O'Driscoll and co hold too many aces elsewhere to suggest a defeat is on the cards.
If the likes of Gordon D'Arcy, Geordan Murphy and O'Driscoll are supplied with enough ball, the Irish seem unlikely to endure a losing start. The only real threat to victory would appear to be complacency.
R De Marigny (Parma), Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais), G Canale (Treviso), A Masi (Viadana), L Nitoglia (Calvisano), L Orquera (Petrarca Padova), A Troncon (Treviso), A Lo Cicero (L'Aquila), F Ongaro (Treviso)/Giorgio Intoppa (Calvisano), M Castrogiovanni (Calvisano), M Bortolami (Narbonne, capt), S Dellape (Agen), A Persico (Agen), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais), S Parisse (Treviso).
Replacements: S Perugini (Calvisano), G Intoppa (Calvisano)/Carlo Festuccia (Rugby Parma), CA Del Fava (Parma), D Dal Maso (Treviso), P Griffen (Calvisano)/P Travagli (Viadana), W Pozzebon (Treviso), PK Robertson (Viadana).
G Murphy (Leicester), S Horgan (Leinster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), G D'Arcy (Leinster), D Hickie (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), P Stringer (Munster), R Corrigan (Leinster), S Byrne (Leinster), J Hayes (Munster), M O'Kelly (Leinster), P O'Connell (Munster), S Easterby (Llanelli), D Leamy (Munster), A Foley (Munster).
Replacements: F Sheahan (Munster), M Horan (Munster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), E Miller (Leinster), G Easterby (Leinster), D Humphreys (Ulster), G Dempsey (Leinster).
Conor O'Shea will lead his side to matches against Fiji and Australia
30 March 2017, 2:36pm
After a disappointing RBS 6 Nations campaign for the Azzurri - losing all five of their Championship matches and picking up their 12th Wooden Spoon - they will be licking their wounds ahead of their summer tour Down Under.
The 2017 RBS 6 Nations was watched by record numbers of fans
29 March 2017, 12:25pm
After an enthralling RBS 6 Nations Championship of twists, turns, and no small amount of drama on the last day, figures show the RBS 6 Nations is going from strength to strength, year on year, with no sign of slowing down.