No arrogance from Parisse

Date published: February 26 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Sergio_Parisse_Italy

Italy captain Sergio Parisse is confident enough in his side's ability, but wouldn't go as far to say they were the better team ahead of facing Scotland.

Both sides are desperate to secure a first win of the Championship after two losses so far.

Last year Italy edged a narrow contest at Murrayfield, a year after a late drop-goal won the 2014 fixture between the two sides at the Stadio Olimpico.

Based on that Parisse is expecting another close game, with the pressure on to avoid the wooden spoon.

"It would be arrogant on my part to say we are better than Scotland in the forwards or in the backs," Parisse said.

"I think they are a really strong team – but I think we are a really strong team too. I'm confident in our strengths.

"Everyone is talking about this game and how both Scotland and Italy have no victories in their opening two matches, so this weekend is a crucial match.

"In the past we lost against them here in Rome with a last-minute drop-goal but last year we went to Murrayfield and got a try late in the match to win too.

"So you know that Scotland-Italy matches are always hard, always tough to win. Maybe we have more pressure because we are playing at home. We know we can lose to them but we also know we can beat them.

"If we play the right game we have the possibility to have a good result at the end."

Parisse also expects Kelly Haimona to ably fill in at fly-half, with Carlo Canna out injured.

"Carlo has improved a lot in the last two matches and has been really good for the team," Parisse added.

"Fly-half is a position that we've had a lot of changes in over the last year. But I think for the future Carlo, Kelly and even Tommaso Allan – who is not in the team – can prove themselves to be the men to start in that role for Italy.

"Now it's a chance for Kelly to show he can improve and be part of this team."

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