Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Rugby: Italy say they can sink Wales without Parisse

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 22 - Italy will be without Sergio
Parisse for the rest of the Six Nations after the inspirational
captain was given a 30-day ban this week for insulting the
referee.
It is a massive blow for the Azzurri, who upset France
23-18 in Rome in their opener but lost 34-10 in Scotland last
time out, as the 29-year-old is considered one of the best
number eights in the world.
But Jacques Brunel's side are upbeat about their chances of
beating Wales in Rome on Saturday even without their best
player.
"I think we can win this match even without Parisse,"
Brunel said about the loss of the 29-year-old, who staunchly
denies directing the F-word at the ref while playing for his
club Stade Francais against Bordeaux at the weekend.
"His ban is an injustice but we have to move forward and
face Wales without thinking about Sergio's absence.
"Lots of players have an influence on the game. Parisse is
certainly an important element, but he's not the only one".
Brunel said that Fijian-born loose forward Manoa Vosawai,
who has 10 caps, will replace Parisse at the back of the scrum,
while prop Martin Castrogiovanni will take charge of the
captain's armband.
"It's a very important match. We'll be facing it without
our captain, my friend Sergio," said Castrogiovanni.
"We'll do everything possible to win this match, in part
for him.
"He's a friend, a great captain, the heart of this team and
it's an honour for me to replace him".
Brunel said it was a good omen that Castrogiovanni is
returning as captain after skippering the side in wins over
Canada and United States last year.
"We won two matches out of two with him as captain," said
Brunel.
"If we keep up this average, we'll win the tournament".
Vosawai's entry into the starting line-up was one of four
changes.
Kristopher Burton takes over at flyhalf from Luciano
Orquera, who was man of the match against France but gave an
error-strewn showing in Scotland.
Edoardo Gori starts ahead of Tobias Botes at scrumhalf to
form a new half-back combination. Lock Antonio Pavanello comes
in for Quintin Geldenhuys.
After facing Wales, who lost to Ireland and beat France in
their previous games, Italy take on England at Twickenham on
March 10 and Ireland back at Rome's Stadio Olimpico March 16.
The Azzurri are fifth in the Six Nations table, two points
ahead of pointless France and two behind leaders England.

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