Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards says he is not surprised by Sergio Parisse's red card for allegedly insulting a referee.
Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards says he is not surprised by Italy captain Sergio Parisse's red card for allegedly insulting a referee.
Parisse is expected to be suspended at a French league disciplinary hearing on Wednesday for allegedly insulted referee Laurent Cardona, which would rule him out of this weekend's Six Nations clash with Wales.
And according to Edwards, he can expect no sympathy from Saturday's visitors to the Stadio Olimpico.
“It's not a surprise to me that he has been done for speaking to the referee. It's nothing he hasn't done before,” said defence specialist Edwards.
“Last Friday we were watching the tape back from our match against Italy last year, and he came out with profanities in the referee's ear-shot and saying what he was going to do to one of our players, so it is no surprise to me that he has been done for back-chatting to the referee.
“On that footage you can clearly hear what is said in the referee's microphone. He was saying what damage he was going to do to one of our players.”
If Parisse is banned, it would come as a massive setback for the Azzurri.
“He is obviously a player who is rated very highly throughout the world,” Edwards added.
“Parisse is a very creative player from scrums with his inside balls that cause a problem for defences, and he is a very strong scrummager, particularly in his own 22.
“He is good in the air and excellent at off-loading, so I'm pretty sure his coach will be hoping he gets off his ban.
“I don't know who will play number eight for Italy on Saturday, but I am sure they won't play with 14 players if he is out. They will have somebody perfectly competent to replace him.”