Sergio Parisse believes Italy proved a point in Edinburgh this weekend with their last-gasp win over Scotland.
The Azzurri have endured a miserable time of it over the last 18 months, with the troubles of their club sides being felt at international level.
But after losing all five games a year ago in the Six Nations, including a heart-breaker at home to Scotland, they turned the tables thanks to a late penalty try for a 22-19 success.
"This victory is not going to cancel all the difficulties that we have but the most important thing is we have shown everyone that we really deserve a place in this tournament," said Parisse.
"Sometimes I have heard people talking about another nations deserving to be in our place, so this victory is something to say: 'Okay, we are here. We deserve to be here'."
It was no more than Italy deserved as they outscored Scotland three tries to one, with Parisse at the heart of an incredible forward effort.
And it marked only their second away win in the Championship, matching their 2007 victory at the same ground, but Parisse believes this display was very different to eight years ago.
"This was completely different. In 2007 it was a crazy match. We scored three tries and were 21-0 up after six minutes. This time we were really close to losing the match.
"When we scored at the end there was a lot of emotion. Nobody believed we could win except the players and the staff."