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O'Driscoll the best - Parisse

15th March 2013 15:08

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Respect: Sergio Parisse

Italy captain Sergio Parisse has saluted Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll ahead of the two sides clash in Rome on Saturday.

O'Driscoll's future in the Six Nations remains unclear beyond the end of this year's tournament.

"When you talk about Ireland and rugby, you can't not talk about Brian O'Driscoll," said Parisse.

"He's one of the best centres in the history of the game. This will be his final match in Rome and he will want to finish with a win.

"I wish him luck in the rest of his life, but he has done many things for Ireland and rugby.

"For me when I think about a centre, I think about Brian O'Driscoll over all the rest.

Italy produced some of their best rugby as underdogs against France and England, whilst struggling when the pressure was on against Scotland Wales.

"Sometimes when we play big teams we get a little bit scared and we were like that before England at Twickenham," added Parisse.

"But we played a really good match and were very close to them in terms of the result. It will be better because we are playing at home and will have more chances to beat Ireland.

"Last time we played them here in the Six Nations we only lost to them late on because of a drop goal.

"They're one of the teams that we haven't been able to beat so we know it will be difficult, but if we show the same attitude that we did at Twickenham, we should get the result."

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