Treviso captain Antonio Pavanello insists his club teammates all have the potential to play international rugby, claiming they no longer feel inferior within the RaboDirect PRO12.
Pavanello ended his international exile with Italy, which stretched back to 2009, in the Six Nations this year and also went on tour to the Americas in the summer.
But on the domestic front he saw his team finish tenth in last year’s RaboDirect PRO12 for the second year running despite a flying start to the season which included four wins in a row in September and October.
But the 29-year-old is adamant that his team are more confident than ever going into the new season and that success domestically will see more players in the reckoning for Italy caps.
“For me it was very positive to enter into the Six Nations squad and for the summer tour as well so,” said Pavanello.
“This season I have the opportunity to play matches with Treviso and to try and stay in the squad for the November Tests and for the next Six Nations,
“There are a lot of good players in the Treviso team. We are all in the same boat and there aren’t any special players who are much better than everyone else.
“All the Italian players that play for Treviso can go into the Italy squad I think.
“In the first season when we met teams like Munster or Leinster or Ospreys, maybe our eyes were very open but now we know that we can beat them and so we have no fear in the changing room.
“Now it’s quiet before a rugby match because we know that we are in with a chance like the other teams.”