Wednesday 17 July 2019

Italy welcome inspirational captain Parisse into squad as he targets Ireland return

Italy's N°8 Sergio Parisse is tackled during the 2015 Six Nations encounter between Italy and Ireland
Italy's N°8 Sergio Parisse is tackled during the 2015 Six Nations encounter between Italy and Ireland

Sergio Parisse will finally join Italy's World Cup camp on tomorrow and has his sights on facing Ireland this weekend.

The linchpin number eight has missed Italy's opening two matches after suffering an injury to his calf.

The 32-year-old had remained with club side Stade Francais in Paris to be given extensive treatment on the injury, but was ruled fit enough to travel to England on Monday.

Italy captain Parisse will now hope to complete his recovery in time to face Ireland in Sunday's pivotal Pool D battle at the Olympic Stadium in London.

Ireland can cement quarter-final qualification with victory over Italy this weekend, and know just how much of a boost Parisse's return would hand the Azzurri.

"Sergio Parisse will join the national team at morning training in Cobham," Italy confirmed in a statement.

"The captain and number eight of the national side underwent a series of final tests on Monday in Paris which showed a significant reduction of the haematoma in the calf.

"Parisse will continue treatment at Italy's training camp and, later in the week, will have his fitness evaluated ahead of the Ireland match."

Ireland have already admitted Parisse's presence would radically alter the complexion of Sunday's Italy match.

Ireland top Pool D with two bonus-point wins from two matches following Sunday's 44-10 victory over Romania at Wembley.

Their toughest group stage assignments are still to come however, with a hugely testing encounter against France to follow their Italy meeting.

"Parisse would definitely change the dynamic," said lock Devin Toner of Sunday's Italy match.

"He controls the lineout, he owns it, he calls it: so he's a real threat if he does play.

"But he's the talisman, he spurs everything good about Italy.

"So if he does play it would be a coup for them.

"You never want to see players injured of course.

"I'm sure the neutrals want to see him play but I don't know if we do to be honest!"

PA Media

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