Brunel to replace Mallett
Rome - Jacques Brunel will be named new coach of Italy "in the coming days", according to the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR).
FIR president Giancarlo Dondi said: "Jacques Brunel has not yet signed his contract but will be named as coach in the coming days."
Brunel, currently coach of French Top 14 team Perpignan, will take up his duties after this year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, when the Italian side will be coached by incumbent Nick Mallett.
Mallett took over the role from Frenchman Pierre Berbizier following the last World Cup in France in 2007, being handed a four-year deal.
Italy won just three out of 20 Six Nations matches under Mallett including the historic 22-21 victory at home to France this season.
His record was marginally better than Italy's Six Nations record before he arrived - five wins and one draw in 40 matches - but that has not proved enough for the federation.
Mallett also oversaw November Test victories against Fiji and Samoa in the last two years while his tourists beat Argentina in Cordoba in June 2008.