Parisse set for Six Nations swansong

Last Updated: 07/01/20 3:33pm

Sergio Parisse will add to his 142 caps during the Six Nations
Sergio Parisse will add to his 142 caps during the Six Nations

Sergio Parisse will be given the chance to end his long Test career in Rome during the Six Nations Championship.

However, the 36-year-old will not play the entire tournament, which begins for the Azzurri against Wales in Cardiff on February 1.

Parisse had planned to retire after the Rugby World Cup but he was denied a farewell appearance when Italy’s final pool match against New Zealand was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

He will be given a Rome swansong by new Italy head coach Franco Smith against either Scotland on February 22 or England three weeks later.

Parisse will face Scotland, England or both
Parisse will face Scotland, England or both

“I told Smith my desire to end my international career in Rome in front of my family, my friends and our fans,” Parisse told Corriere dello Sport.

“He agrees that I deserve another game, that I cannot end with that match cancelled by the typhoon.

“I will face Scotland, England or both, but I will certainly not play the entire Six Nations.

Italy’s Six Nations fixtures

Feb 1 Wales (a)
Feb 9 France (a)
Feb 22 Scotland (h)
Mar 7 Ireland (a)
Mar 14 England (h)

“The national team needs to develop other players with leadership skills.

“If I were permanently in a group, even more if I were a captain, I would occupy certain spaces. Instead, it is time for others to take my place.”

No 8 Parisse, who has won 142 caps, made his Italy debut against the All Blacks in 2002.

Only two players – New Zealand World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw and Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones – have made more international appearances than him.

Source : Sky Sports