"We don't plan on being overly physical," he said. "We trained in minus two degrees on Tuesday on rock hardground... we're just tough.
"We have to keep building on making our tackles and try andbe the most physical side in the tournament. I have seen that put into more constructive fashion since Itook over and it was proved by the fact our average penalty count against us wentdown from 24 a match to eight during the World Cup.
"I won't accept yellow cards and ill discipline. I just don'tlike cheating which was the case with Italy in the past," added Kirwan, whotook over from compatriot Brad Johnstone in May 2002.
One person who certainly agrees with Kirwan's prognosis that theyare the most physical side is Clive Woodward, coach of their firstopponents, world champions England.
"I don't see that playing Italy is any more difficult thanplaying Australia, especially away from home. They are the most physical teamwe will play in the Six Nations," said Woodward.
Kirwan, though, is looking for an improvement on last year's SixNations which saw them record one victory, at home against Wales. "We want to win it because we shouldn't think of it in anyother way.
"Realistically I want a home win and an away win and you knowI am talking about England and France," he added with a laugh.
Perhaps foremost in his trajectory for the away win which would betheir first in the competition should be Wales, who caused him sleeplessnights when they ended Italy's chances of progressing to the last eight in the
"I must have watched and rewatched that video several hundredtimes as coaches tend to do. It was a chance to take Italy onto a different plane wherethey could dream of having as I saw last year 2,000 people turn up just for anAll Black training session instead of the two we had at one, and one of thosepeople was walking his dog.
"It really hurt that defeat because of the sacrifices theplayers had put into making it a successful tournament."
Kirwan is confident a huge upswing in Italian fortunes is on thehorizon. "The guys are beginning to believe in themselves and it's notjust because we have been voted the best dressed team and captain Andrea Di Rossithe best looking player!
"It is because we have been retaining the ball for longer andimproving in the rucks and dominating teams for longer periods of the game. We just need to have the ability to kill them off."
Kirwan, however, believes in a balanced mix of hard training andrelaxing off the pitch with the squad which is easier for him than it was forJohnstone as he is a fluent Italian speaker.
"Part of our philosophy is having a good balance. We (the squad) had a bit of a crisis the other night as thewine wasn't very good and when as professionals you aren't allowed more than twoglasses that is a real crisis, believe you me."
Two victories in the Six Nations and Kirwan will be saying 'crisiswhat crisis' no matter how bad the wine is - and you wouldn't bet againstit.