Six Nations
Sergio Parisse out of Six Nations
ESPN Staff
February 21, 2013
Italy's Sergio Parisse darts over for the home side, Italy v France, Six Nations, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy, February 3, 2013
Sergio Parisse played a big part in Italy's surprise win over France in their opening match of 2013. © Getty Images
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Italy captain Sergio Parisse will miss the remainder of the Six Nations after being handed a 40-day ban after he was red carded for insulting a referee while playing for his club Stade Francais in the French Top 14 last weekend.

Parisse was sent off after making offensive remarks to referee Laurent Cardona in his side's match against Begles Bordeaux in Paris on Saturday. Parisse pleaded with the official after being dismissed, insisting that he had made a mistake. He also reiterated that he hadn't insulted the referee after the game on his Twitter account.

A French National League disciplinary committee disagreed with Parisse's version of events, handing him a significant suspension, with 10 days suspended, meaning he won't be able to return until March 18, two days after Italy's final championship clash. Parisse has the right to appeal and is expected to do so although any hearing would not take place until early next week.

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards said it was "no surprise he has been done for speaking to refs … it's not something he hasn't done before".

The news will be a hammer blow to Italy's campaign that began in spectacular fashion with a 23-18 victory over France. Coach Jacques Brunel must now find a new skipper ahead of his side's match against Wales in Rome on Saturday and reshuffle his back-row with 93 times-capped Mauro Bergamasco called into his 31-man squad earlier this week.

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