Six Nations
Palmer warns England over Parisse threat
ESPNscrum Staff
February 7, 2012
Italy's Sergio Parisse finds his way blocked by the French defence, France v Italy, Six Nations, Stade de France, Paris, France, February 4, 2012
Sergio Parisse goes on the charge against France at the weekend © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Tom Palmer | Sergio Parisse
Tournaments/Tours: Six Nations

England second row Tom Palmer has praised fellow Stade Francais team mate Sergio Parisse ahead of their showdown in the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Palmer's England travel to Rome on Saturday for the second round of a Six Nations campaign that opened with a 13-6 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield. Spearheading Italy's assault at the Stadio Olimpico will be Parisse, their inspirational skipper who Palmer believes grows in stature every time he steps into the Test arena.

And Palmer is no stranger to the Italian No.8 as he plays alongside him at Stade Francais. Italy fell to France on Saturday in the Championship's opening game and Parisse and his charges will be out to put down a marker in their new home. "Sergio Parisse is a high-quality player," Palmer said. "He's a very good athlete, very powerful and combines that with being very skilful.

"He has a high work-rate, so he has everything you need to be a top player. It seems as though he raises his game every time he plays for Italy.

"He often plays well for Stade, but not quite as consistently well as he does for Italy. He's the captain, it's a big responsibility for him and he rises to the challenge. He delivers every time he plays for them."

England name their 22 to face Italy on Thursday morning, giving players two days to impress interim head coach Stuart Lancaster.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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