Parisse: France the team to beat

Wed, 23 Jan 2013 19:02
Large sergioparissesixnations Large sergio parisse media 630 Large sergio parisse   jacques br

Italy captain Sergio Parisse believes France are in pole position to win the 2013 Six Nations Championship.

Italy captain Sergio Parisse believes France are in pole position to win the 2013 Six Nations Championship.

The two sides meet in the first round of the tournament in Rome a week from Sunday with the Azzurri aiming for a repeat of their surprise 22-21 victory against France two years ago.

England laid down their title credentials with a stunning 38-21 win over world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in December.

But France are on a four-match winning streak and Parisse reckons the adaptability of Les Bleus makes them the team to beat.

"Definitely I believe France are the favourites," Parisse said at the launch of the Six Nations in London on Wednesday. "They make good decisions.

"England beat the best team in the world in December so everyone expects them to dominate the Six Nations. They are very structured and try to dominate the opposition physically.

"Against New Zealand they showed some interesting things, but they don't have the capacity to adapt their game like the French.

"Everything is well organised with France, but their players have the liberty to adapt and they are the best at doing that.

"England are more structured and follow instructions. They find it harder to adapt than France. But they are still one of the best teams in the world."

Italy have only once finished outside the bottom two since joining what was the tournament in 2000 and in recent seasons their match with Scotland has often been a wooden spoon decider.

That was the case in 2012 when their 13-6 win against the Scots represented their sole victory of the tournament.

However, this year they have three home matches, with Wales and Ireland, as well as France, set to visit Rome and No.8 Parisse has challenged Italy to raise their sights.

"It's no longer enough for us to play well, to be improving and be involved in good matches," he said. "The gap between us and the other teams is closing, but for the credibility of the team we need results.

"We've been improving since we've been in the Six Nations and this year because we have three games we hope to do well.

"We don't have fear of any team in the Six Nations and we want to confirm our progression by winning matches."

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0