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Calls to leave Parisse benched

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Calls for the legendary Parisse not to start against Springboks

Italy could be entering uncharted territory next week when they face South Africa, as it may be the first time in years that Sergio Parisse does not start due to tactics. 

This potential situation comes after the Italians’ demolition of Canada on Thursday where the back row were magnificent without their longstanding captain and talisman. 

Starting in Parisse’s place was Braam Steyn, who not only scored the first try of the game but was a destructive thorn in the Canadians’ side all game. 

With man of the match Jake Polledri having an equally dominant performance and Sebastian Negri not far behind on either flank, there is little space for the 141-cap legend – although there have been suggestions that he can move into the second row and be accommodated there.

While the 36-year-old Parisse brings experience and leadership that few others in the game can, he is undeniably no longer the force that he has been while he has carried his country over the past decade. 

(Continue reading below…)

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But with the gruelling prospect of facing World Cup contenders South Africa and the All Blacks in consecutive games, Steyn looks like the man to do more damage with eight on his back. 

Although it seemed at one time unimaginable, there is a growing number of people on Twitter suggesting that the veteran may find himself on the bench when his side line up against the Springboks at Shizuoka on October 4. 

Of course, Conor O’Shea would have rested Parisse for the match against Canada to ensure that he is fresh for the Springboks but in his absence, Steyn has laid down an almighty claim to start against the country of his birth. 

It may seem nothing short of rugby sacrilege, but there are murmurs that Italy may actually be better without Parisse. This is what has been said: 

The most promising thing for Italy is that they now arguably look stronger without Parisse, which bodes well for their future. 

This is after fears over the past few years about how the team will cope without the No8, but the future is starting to look bright for the Azzurri. 

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Calls for the legendary Parisse not to start against Springboks