World Rugby

09/20/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/19/2019 23:22

Evergreen Parisse reaches another milestone for Italy

TOKYO, 20 Sep - Sergio Parisse will reach yet another milestone when he leads Italy into their opening Pool B game of the Rugby World Cup 2019 against Namibia at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Sunday.

The Italian great, in action above, such a rock and servant for his country down the years, will become only the third player to appear at five Rugby World Cups after Brian Lima (Samoa 1991-2007) and compatriot Mauro Bergamasco (1999-2015).

When he ran out against New Zealand at RWC 2003, he was the youngest player to have played for his country on rugby's biggest stage of them all.

On Sunday, at 36 years and 10 days, he will become the second oldest to have played for his country at a RWC behind Mauro Bergamasco, when he earns his 141st cap, which brings him level with former Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll and seven behind Richie McCaw's world-record 148 appearances for New Zealand.

In terms of winning caps for his country, the battle-hardened Italian has already eclipsed O'Driscoll, as the Irishman played eight times for the British and Irish Lions.

Italy coach Conor O'Shea has made nine changes to the starting XV that lost 37-0 against England on 6 September, with Nicola Quaglio, Braam Steyn, Edoardo Padovani, Tommaso Benvenuti, Mattia Bellini and Jayden Hayward retaining their places.

Padovani will be looking for a change of luck at this tournament after having won just two of his 23 international appearances for Italy.

ITALY

1. Nicola Quaglio
2. Luca Bigi
3. Tiziano Pasquali
4. Alessandro Zanni
5. Federico Ruzza
6. Braam Steyn
7. Maxime Mbandà
8. Sergio Parisse (capt.)
9. Tito Tebaldi
10. Tommaso Allan
11. Edoardo Padovani
12. Luca Morisi
13. Tommaso Benvenuti
14. Mattia Bellini
15. Jayden Hayward
16. Oliviero Fabiani
17. Simone Ferrari
18. Marco Riccioni
19. Dean Budd
20. Jake Polledri
21. Guglielmo Palazzani
22. Carlo Canna
23. Matteo Minozzi

RNS mj/sw