Rome, February 22 - Italy are especially fired up for Saturday's Six Nations match against Wales in Rome because they hope to dedicate victory to banned skipper Sergio Parisse, Azzurri prop Martin Castrogiovanni said Friday. Parisse will miss the rest of the Six Nations after being given a 30-day ban Wednesday for insulting the referee when he was sent off while playing for Stade Francais against Bordeaux at the weekend. It is a massive blow for Italy, who upset France 23-18 in Rome in their opener but lost 34-10 in Scotland last time out, as the 29-year-old is considered one of the best number eights in the world. "It's a very important match. We'll be facing it without our captain, my friend Sergio," said Castrogiovanni, who will skipper the Azzurri at Rome's Stadio Olimpico. "We'll do everything possible to win this match, in part for him. "He's a friend, a great captain, the heart of this team and it's an honour for me to replace him".
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di Giovanni Pastore