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Italian defence worries Parisse

ITALY captain Sergio Parisse saw his side run in nine tries in their 53-17 win against Russia in Nelson, but he has warned them that they must improve defensively.

The Azzurri were never threatened after securing a try bonus point in just 22 minutes as they went on to record their highest score in a World Cup match.

Italy, who led 38-7 at the break, registered scores through Sergio Parisse, Giulio Toniolatti (2), Tommaso Benvenuti (2), Edoardo Gori, Luke McLean, Alessandro Zanni and a penalty try, with fly-half Riccardo Bocchino, who limped off injured late on, adding four conversions.

Russia were much improved after the break, with Alexander Yanyshkin, Vladimir Ostroushko and Alexey Makovetskiy (pictured) crossing for their first tries in a World Cup.

And it was those three Russian tries that were of most concern to number eight Parisse, with games against the United States and Ireland to come.

“Russia were a very tough opposition, we are very happy to have the victory. We will take the five points as it was very important for us if we are to have a chance to qualify,” he said.

lThomas Waldrom was taken by surprise when he turned up for training at Leicester yesterday and discovered he had been called up by England.

The Tigers number eight is en route to his native New Zealand to provide cover for Nick Easter, who is struggling with a back injury and missed Sunday’s 41-10 victory over Georgia.

The 28-year-old arrived at Leicester’s training base expecting simply to take part in a review session of their one-point \Aviva Premiership win over Newcastle Falcons.

But Waldrom was instead told by Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill to get his things packed because he was heading to Dunedin.

Waldrom told the Leicester Mercury said: “I am going out as cover so it’s difficult to know what might happen. We will just have to wait and see.”

lArgentina prop Martin Scelzo hopes captain and team talisman Felipe Contepomi is fit for the Pumas’ vital World Cup Pool B showdown with Scotland on Sunday.

Fly-half Contepomi suffered a rib injury in the opening loss against England, which means the Pumas must beat Scotland in Wellington on Sunday to have any hope of progressing to the quarter-finals.

“He’s going to be fine and if not he has to be fine,” said Scelzo.