Six Nations touchlines: Parisse takes Route 66 to smash O’Driscoll’s appearance record
Sergio Parisse will smash the Six Nations record of Brian O'Driscoll when he makes his 66th appearance for the Azzurri against the tournament dark horses Scotland.
Last season the great No 8 reached another milestone but one that would few would envy - his 100th Test match defeat.
That was against Scotland too and few would give Conor O'Shea's men a chance of putting an end to their miserable sequence in this championship.
Scotland have won their previous six meetings with Italy, whose last victory in the Six Nations came at Murrayfield in 2015 - one of seven occasions they have beaten the Scots in the Championship.
Irishman Ian McKinley must again settle for a place on the bench with O'Shea preferring Tomasso Allan, while lock David Sisi becomes the 26th debutant during the Irish coach's near three-year tenure.
Scotland give a first start to Glasgow's Australian-born centre Sam Johnson while Newcastle flanker Gary Graham, son of former prop George, is primed to debut from the bench.
Last year, he was in the England Six Nations training squad before switching allegiance again.
Scotland - S Hogg; T Seymour, H Jones, S Johnson, B Kinghorn; F Russell, G Laidlaw (captain); A Dell, S McInally, WP Nel; B Toolis, G Gilchrist; S Skinner, J Ritchie, R Wilson. Reps: J Kerr, J Bhati, S Berghan, G Graham, J Strauss, A Price, A Hastings, C Harris.
International Rugby Newsletter
Italy - J Hayward; A Esposito, L Morisi, T Castello, M Campagnaro; T Allan, T Tebaldi; A Lovotti, L Ghiralidini, D Ferrari; D Sisi, D Budd; S Negri, A Steyn, S Parisse. Reps: L Bigi, C Traore, T Pasquali, F Ruzza, J Tuivaiti, G Palazzani, I McKinley, E Padovani.
Legends gather for Doddie's MND battle
The annual Ireland v England Legends' clash takes place at the RDS this evening (7.0).
Colm Murray would most likely have been there in his pomp; sadly Motor Neurone Disease robbed us of our dear RTÉ friend.
There is still no cure but Doddie Weir, the former Scotland international, who was diagnosed two years ago, is determined to find one.
This year, Gordon D'Arcy, Malcolm O'Kelly and Mick Galwey will tog out alongside World Cup winners Jason Leonard, Josh Lewsey and Mike Tindall in aid of the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.
Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster and you can also donate online.
Wasps flanker Claire Molloy topped the tackle count in last year's Six Nations - her 100th will be on an English opponent tonight in Energia Park (5.0).