Rugby: Parisse ban cut, will play England

Azzurri skipper missed Wales defeat because of French suspension

Rugby: Parisse ban cut, will play England

Paris, March 6 - Italy's inspirational captain Sergio Parisse is back in the Six Nations after the French rugby league cut a 30-day ban to 20 days Wednesday, making him available to lead the Azzurri against England at Twickenham on Sunday March 10. Without their talisman Italy were badly beaten at home to Wales, 26-9, on February 23. The 29-year-old Argentine-born number 8, who has 93 caps, was banned for insulting the referee when he was sent off while playing for Stade Francais against Bordeaux on February 16. After Six Nations leaders England, he will also skipper Ireland in their final match of the tournament back at the Stadio Olimpico on March 16. Parisse, nominated for IRB Player of the Year in 2008, scored the first try in Italy's shock win at home to France in their Six Nations opener on February 9. Italy coach Jacques Brunel replaced Parisse with Fijian-born loose forward Manoa Vosawai against Wales but the Azzurri pack were a shadow of their usually formidable selves. Italy upset France 23-18 in Rome but were beaten 34-10 by Scotland at Murrayfield on February 9, before the Wales defeat. The Azzurri are fifth in the Six Nations table, two points ahead of pointless France and four behind leaders England.

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