Heineken Cup new boys Aironi are hoping to make an immediate impact in Europe's premier competition when they take on former continental champions Ulster on the opening weekend.
Aironi visit Ravenhill on Friday, October 9 and are looking for revenge following a narrow defeat in the Magners League earlier in the season.
The Viadana-based side entered the Celtic League for the first time this season and are targeting their trip to Ireland to get their European campaign off to the best of starts.
"We have got Ulster in our group and we know them pretty well already," said captain Quintein Geldenhuys.
"We have played them in the league and just lost out by seven, but they scored an interception and before that we were right in the game.
"It is a game we have targeted and, as it is our first in the Heineken Cup, it is very important to us.
"We know that they will come at us strong and they will be looking for a good win at home, but hopefully we can show them what we can do."
After a promising start to the season and a good showing against former Heineken Cup champions Munster, Aironi have found it tough going in recent trips, with back-to-backs visits to Wales taking their toll on the squad.
"The season is very long and the intensity is going to take its toll," added the South African born lock.
"We have had three hard games on the road, so we are being careful and resting our squad well.
"Our squad is small and we need to look after all of our guys and target games we believe we can get something from and focus on those.
"We have got about 11 players out injured but we are looking to get some of those back in time for Europe and that will increase competition for places, which is really healthy."
Aironi face a baptism of fire in this year's group stage, taking on former champions Bath and two-time Heineken Cup finalists Biarritz in Pool 4, as well as 1999 winners Ulster.
Geldenhuys, though, believes his side will go into Europe this year much better prepared than ever before.
"When you're used to playing in the Super 10 (Italian domestic league) and then have to step up into Europe like Italian teams have done it the past, it is a culture shock.
"It takes time to adapt your game and be ready for the difference in levels, but playing at a similar pace in the Magners means we can try and maintain our performances and take them into the Heineken Cup.
"As always, we are going to take the competition game by game, but this year we know we will have more experience.
"It is vital to start well so we need to target the opening rounds and try and get a win in early."
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