Parisse boosts Italy for must-win Ireland game

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Italy talisman Sergio Parisse will return to the Italy side this weekend. Photo: Garbriel Bouys
13:49 CEST+02:00
Talismanic Italy captain Sergio Parisse returns to the side for his first game of the 2015 World Cup in the must-win Pool D game against Six Nations champions Ireland on Sunday.

The 32-year-old No. 8, who missed the first two games following surgery to drain a haematoma on his calf, is one of five changes to the starting XV who scraped a 23-18 win over Canada last weekend.

Parisse's aura is such that the Irish have said they fear the impact he could have on reviving his side's morale as they drive for a victory needed to maintain any hope of reaching the quarter-finals.
Parisse comes into the team for Samuela Vunisa and takes captaincy duties back from Leonardo Ghiraldini, who misses the match with a thigh muscle injury.

Parisse, who becomes the sixth Italy player to participate in four World Cups, is joined in the back row by Simon Favaro with whom he has formed a potent partnership.

Italy have won three of the last four tests when Parisse and Favaro started together in the back row, a sequence that began with Italy's first ever Six Nations win over Ireland, 22-15 in Rome in 2013.

That was prior to present Ireland coach Joe Schmidt taking over and guiding the Irish to two successive Six Nations titles (2014/15).

There are 13 players in Italy's match-day squad that were involved that day.
Aside from Parisse and Favaro three of them come in the pack, tighthead Lorenzo Cittadini, and locks Quintin Geldenhuys and Josh Furno.

A win for Ireland at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday would see both them and France qualify out of Pool D for the knockout stages.

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