Italian captain Marco Bortolami had no sooner joined the chorus of celebration for Brian O'Driscoll when he declared his country's stout intention to drown it out in today's emotive Lansdowne Road clash.
"It is some motivation for Ireland," he said of O'Driscoll's farewell on Irish soil, mindful that Andrea Lo Cicero's equally emotional retirement fuelled Italy's only Six Nations win against Ireland in Rome last March.
"We haven't spoken about that and we have to do our job. We have to make sure we turn up. That's the things in our control. We know how Ireland play.
"They are very physical and organised and I don't think they will change the way they play because Brian O'Driscoll is playing his 140th game.
"To play at the same high level for 15 years is simply an amazing record, featuring on four Lions tours as well as all the silverware he has won for Ireland and Leinster.
"After the game there will be some focus on that, but we will try to destroy this party for him. We don't want to disrespect him, but that's sport."
Bortolami, who also skippered his country to an away win in 2007 against Scotland, believes that Ireland are the best of the four teams slugging it out in a fascinating championship battle.
"The way they play, yeah," he enthused. "I wasn't surprised they lost against England, but they were in control of the game.
"The opportunities didn't go to Ireland, but they are very consistent. Their kicking game is very good and they put players under pressure. They play in the right areas and their pack is very organised.
"When they get in the '22' they build opportunities to score tries, so it seems they don't have any weaknesses, but we analysed them and we know how we can put them under pressure."
Meanwhile, Paul Derbyshire has told the Irish Independent that his side are confident that they can come close to repeating last March's maiden Six Nations success against Ireland – even though they have "rested" the world-class No 8 Sergio Parisse.
Coach Jacques Brunel has cosseted his star player as he targets another game five coup against England in Rome next weekend and, after also switching his half-back pairing, there are hints that his side may not be focused on today's Dublin task, a factor that has privately angered their other title rivals.
With Ireland seeking the win and the points-difference boost that may give them a title-chasing edge when they visit Paris next weekend, Italy may appear to have already waved a white flag ahead of this afternoon's contest.
Not so, claims Derbyshire, who takes his place in a back-row also weakened by the absence of Alessandro Zanni.
"It's more like a test for us, it's the fourth game of the tournament and of course the last game is very important," said the 27-year-old, slated to win his 22nd cap today. "Brunel has given some players the chance to play and see if they can start against England next week. He has made a few changes as a test.
"But it's still quite a strong side even if we're missing Sergio, our captain, and also Alessandro Zanni. But I think we're going to be fine without them.
"We still have experience in our side with Marco leading us as the captain. It's an important challenge to play without Sergio for us to develop. Leadership won't be a problem for Marco.
"It's still a big challenge to play a very, very strong team without some very strong players. I think we are ready to do this, though. We have worked hard all week and we are really positive."
And Derbyshire maintains that, while Italy will glean some confidence from the 22-15 shock win in Rome, a first in 18 games against Ireland that forced the then head coach Declan Kidney from his post, they are also looking ahead to a World Cup renewal with Ireland next year in England.
"We have confidence from last season against Ireland in Rome," he said. "We know that it is more difficult in the Aviva, an amazing stadium and it won't be easy for us. But we won last year and we have some confidence, so we have to put in the performance and hope to put pressure on the Ireland side for 80 minutes.
"We are building for a World Cup when we play Ireland again and we want to do better than in the last World Cup against them.
"We have some young players coming through in the backline, three or four young guys who have played outstandingly well, like Farto, Esposito and Campagnaro.
"It's good for us because next year the World Cup is really important and we have the basis to do well with these young players."