Italy captain Marco Bortolami believes his side are developing a more French style under coach Pierre Berbizier.
Berbizier, the former France scrum-half who won Grand Slams in 1981 and 1987, was appointed Azzurri boss in April and has so far masterminded victories over Argentina, Tonga and Fiji.
The Italians have struggled in the RBS 6 Nations since joining the tournament in 2000 but Bortolami claims they are ready to make an impact with their backs beginning to match their
traditional forward strength.
"Pierre has tried to bring a French style of rugby to the team. We are playing with more confidence in our quality and trying to play what is in front of us," he said.
"But within that we are trying find an Italian style and to build a team which can compete in the Six Nations.
"We are looking for a balance between forwards and backs. In rugby you need 15 good players. We know our pack is very good but our backs are starting to play better as well."
Italy face another battle to avoid the wooden spoon with just two home matches - against England and Scotland - scheduled.
In recent times they have battled it out with the Scots to avoid bottom place and their clash against Frank Hadden's side on March 18 at the Stadio Flaminio could prove decisive.
Second row Bortolami, who has amassed 41 caps for Italy, emphasised the crucial role discipline will play during the championship.
"Our discipline has not always been good. Discipline when you play international rugby is very important, especially against the bigger teams," he said.
"We need to be disciplined in our defence - you can't play international rugby without this. We are working hard on this aspect and are improving."