Fri 8 Feb 2019 | 06:07

Parisse: Italy tired of losing

Parisse: Italy tired of losing
Fri 8 Feb 2019 | 06:07
Parisse: Italy tired of losing
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Italy captain Sergio Parisse warned his side are sick and tired of losing and are determined to end their 18-match Six Nations losing streak against Wales in the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Italy opened this year’s campaign with a 20-33 defeat to Scotland in Murrayfield, where they last won a match in the tournament back in February 2015.

Parisse, who earned a record 66th Six Nations cap in Edinburgh, said the mood had been grim after yet another disappointment.

“After a defeat the climate can only be negative. This is because we are tired of being just competitive, we want to win,” said veteran No. 8 Parisse, who revealed a “non-positive” vibe around the team.

“We feel that there is a lack of trust, too much talk about the team and the group in an unsatisfactory way,” continued 135-times capped Parisse, who is also captain of French club Stade Francais.

“Although it’s not true that everything is negative.

“I can say that tomorrow there is a desire to be masters of the game, something that did not happen in the first half against Scotland.

“None of us is satisfied, no one is content to just play,” he said.

“But we are not here because other nations like the Italian climate or they want to have a weekend in Rome.

“We are here because before us great players have earned the right to be here, who have done great things with this shirt.

Wales, meanwhile, are trying to equal their all-time unbeaten record of 11 successive wins on Saturday, last achieved between 1907 and 1910.

Warren Gatland has made ten changes from the side that came from 16-0 down at half time to overcome France 24-19 in Paris.

“We’ve watched their match against France, we think we can put them in difficulty,” continued Parisse.

“Since Monday I have seen a very positive reaction, enthusiasm, desire to react and to face a great team like Wales.

“They won in France and played good rugby, maybe with a few easy tries conceded by the French.

“They are a team that are third in the rankings and are playing exceptional rugby.”

Gatland hands Six Nations debuts to winger Jonah Holmes and flanker Thomas Young for Saturday’s game.

The two were not part of the victorious matchday squad in Paris last weekend.

“From a rugby player’s point of view if you are motivated because the team in front of you makes changes, it is not a good mindset,” said Parisse.

“We are motivated because we’re playing a good rugby team at home, a big team, a big nation.

“We don’t care if they make 10, 15, 11 or three changes it’s still Wales, still a big nation still a strong, strong side, so we just respect them we don’t take any motivation from it.”

Agence France-Presse

PREVIEW: ITALY V WALES

 

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