Having suffered a nine-try mauling to the Cheetahs last time out, Zebre must fear being thrown to the lions against Leinster tomorrow at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella.
Former Connacht coach Michael Bradley should give the Italians an insight into Irish minds but he has failed to steady the ship so far.
The Cork man, who is in his second season as head coach, last tasted victory in October, beating Edinburgh 34-16 at home in Parma.
The 56-year-old’s charges have endured seven defeats since, including their recent 61-28 loss in Bloemfontein, in a run which sees them languish at the bottom of Conference A.
Italy coach Conor O’Shea named 10 of Bradley’s men in his Six Nations squad last month.
The try-scoring efforts of Zebre full-back Edoardo Padovani and scrum-half Guglielmo Palazzani couldn’t stop Italy’s defeats to Wales and Scotland.
It’s unlikely they could do more against champions Leinster, who inflicted Zebre’s heaviest loss, beating them 70-6, in 2017.
The Italians, however, bid for a first win over the Blues, which would help turn their season around.