With star goal-kicker Diego Dominguez out injured, attention moves to the curly-haired Bergamasco as Italy prepare to take on Wales in the tournament opener in Rome next Saturday.
The Benetton Treviso star was this week named Italy's Player of 2002, and has the pace and power to be a revelation in the No 14 jersey. Two years ago, he stood up Scottish fullback Chris Paterson with a devastating burst of speed to score a try at Murrayfield.
"I warned everyone I'd spring a surprise or two," said Kirwan, who knows a thing or two about wing play, having scored 35 Test tries for New Zealand from the right wing, including a 90-metre effort against Italy in the 1987 World Cup.
"Mauro's a class act and it's obvious he has the talent to play on the wing. You might see him there in the Six Nations, but you might not.
"Having said that, I wouldn't have put him there if I didn't see him there in the future."
Incredibly, Bergamasco's father Arturo played four Tests for Italy - two on the wing and two in the backrow.
The selection also gives 23-year-old Bergamasco - a veteran of 27 Tests - the chance to link with younger brother Mirco, an exciting prospect at fullback.
"Mirco is very promising," Kirwan said of the 19-year-old, who already has five Tests under his belt. "He's terrific under the high ball and a good counter-attacker."
In Mauro Bergamasco's absence, New Zealander Aaron Persico gets the openside berth against the All-Stars, while Rotherham's Ramiro Pez calls the shots at fly-half. Another New Zealander, Matt Phillips, is at No 8 and a third Kiwi backrower, Scott Palmer, is on the bench.
Kirwan said tomorrow's game, which will be televised across the country, was crucial in his side's buildup to their fifth Six Nations tournament. Italy won their first Six Nations match - against Scotland - but have lost every game since.
"It is a match that finally allows us some high-level preparation like our opponents," he said.
"Like every Six Nations team, our objective is to win. I have picked a group that enjoys my confidence, and it is important for us to find our identity because Italian rugby needs a good national team."
Italy: Mirco Bergamasco (Petrarca Padova); Mauro Bergamasco (Benetton Treviso), D Dallan (Benetton), P Vaccari (Calvisano), N Mazzucato (Benetton); R Pez (Rotherham), A Troncon (Benetton, capt); G De Carli (Calvisano), C Festuccia (Gran Parma), R Martinez (Benetton), C Bezzi (Viadana), M Bortolami (Petrarca), A De Rossi (Calvisano), A Persico (Viadan), M Phillips (Viadana).
Replacements: S Dellape (Benetton), G Faliva (Benetton), S Palmer (Benetton), M Castrogiovanni (Calvisano), A Moretti (Calvisano), S Perugini (Calvisano), G Raineri (Calvisano), C Zanoletti (Calvisano), G Cagnolo (L'Aquila), M Giacheri (Rotherham), M Queirolo (Dax).