PARISSE ban reduction a huge boost for italy
Italy captain Sergio Parisse will be available for the Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham on Sunday.
Italy team manager Luigi Troiani confirmed that Parisse's suspension for insulting the referee in a French league game last month had been reduced to 20 days on appeal.
He can return to action this weekend after missing Italy's 26-9 home loss against Wales 11 days ago.
Parisse (29) was banned for 40 days – 10 of which were suspended – after being sent off in a Top 14 fixture between his club Stade Francais and Bordeaux-Begles.
His initial punishment meant he was sidelined until March 18, with Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni taking over as skipper against Wales.
But the Azzurri will now have Parisse back in their ranks to face England, and then Ireland in Rome six days later.
"We learn with satisfaction the news that the disqualification of Sergio Parisse was reduced to 20 days," said Troiani.
He was suspended by French league chiefs following an incident with referee Laurent Cardona, although Parisse denied he had insulted the official.
His availability is a huge boost for Brunel as Italy look to recover from the Wales defeat.
Although they started their Six Nations campaign with a victory over France, the Azzurri then succumbed 34-10 to Scotland before Wales were similarly comprehensive winners in Rome.
Italy are fifth in the table, two points above France, and will head to Twickenham as rank outsiders.