Italy captain Michele Lamaro has hailed Scotland as “one of the best teams in the world” and says his side will need to be at their best if they are to end more than a decade without a Six Nations win in Rome.  

It is now 11 years since the Azzurri recorded their last championship win at the Stadio Olimpico, fly-half Luciano Orquera inspiring them to a 22-15 win over Ireland.

Although they have recorded wins over Scotland at Murrayfield in 2015 and against Wales in Cardiff two years ago, they welcome Scotland knowing this is their final chance of this year's Six Nations to end that long winless run.

But Benetton back-row Lamaro said Scotland's performances so far show how difficult their task will be in front of a sold out Stadio Olimpico.

He said: “We’ve known for a long time that Scotland are one of the best teams in the world, and in this Six Nations they’ve given yet more proof of this. 

“They are a team who play an attractive brand of rugby that is difficult to defend. We’ll need to be very precise in our work, both to limit their options in attack and to try to put pressure on them ourselves. 

“We know that striking that balance will be hard, but we need to stay together and try to put them under pressure." 

Despite drawing with France in Lille last time out, Lamaro said the team was “on the floor” after a 36-0 drubbing by Ireland in Dublin.  

READ MORE: Scotland can use Italy clash to reach the level everyone expects - Rory Lawson

The Azzurri skipper believes their inconsistency is part of the team’s progression.  

"There are always going to be highs and lows in a team’s journey, but I believe we are heading in the right direction,” Lamaro said.  

He added: “We are growing little by little and we certainly have more chance of winning a game now than was the case two years ago or even last year. 

“It’s not something that happens overnight - we need to grow slowly and never get carried away, because every time we have got carried away and believed ourselves to be on the verge of taking that next step forward, we’ve always found ourselves with our face on the floor. 

“If we want to be competitive and cause difficulties for other teams, we need to fight with everything that is in us and put the best version of ourselves on the field.” 

Lamaro has played a lot against Rory Darge over the years and he’s looking forward to another meeting with the Scotland co-captain on Saturday.

He added: “Rory is an unbelievable player. I‘ve known him for a few years and we enjoy playing against each other. I think he’s really good, he’s got some unbelievable footwork and he’s got really good jackaling ability, so I am really looking forward to playing against him.

“Every time we play against each other, we challenge each other, because we know that is key to dominating the opposition, so I think it is going to be a really good battle for me.”

Meanwhile, defence coach Marius Goosen says Italy have a plan to combat Scotland’s talisman Finn Russell.  

He said: “Every team has someone who can make the difference and Finn is certainly that for Scotland.  

“I’m not going to tell you what we have prepared to stop him, but there is a specific plan to create pressure, because we know just how dangerous he can be.” 

But the South African, who is overseeing his final home match as part of the Azzurri’s backroom staff, knows shutting down the visitors’ fly-half will not completely negate their attacking threats. 

He added: "As we have seen in this Six Nations, Scotland have other players who are dangerous too. We can’t be guilty of not keeping an eye on them as well.” 

While the Azzurri’s form is inconsistent, at home they are a much sterner test than on the road. They scored two first-half tries to lead England in round one, before a second half comeback from Steve Borthwick’s side.  

Captain Lamaro knows his team will need to be at their best if they are to have a chance of ending an 11-year wait for a home Six Nations win.  

He added: “We know that if we play to our best level, we can compete in this game. We need to be ready to take advantage of their mistakes and to take advantage of what we create ourselves. 

“We’ve had an excellent week of training, in which we have been putting ourselves under real pressure and trying to improve those small details that can make the difference.  

“We now need to put on the pitch everything that we have been working on.”