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ITALY

Parisse boosts Italy for must-win Ireland game

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.

Parisse boosts Italy for must-win Ireland game
Italy talisman Sergio Parisse will return to the Italy side this weekend. Photo: Garbriel Bouys

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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ITALY

Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.


Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?

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