England v Italy, Six Nations, March 10
Parisse cleared to face England
March 6, 2013
Sergio Parisse is clear to face England © Getty Images
Italy have received a huge boost ahead of their Six Nations clash against England with the news that captain Sergio Parisse has been cleared to play.
Parisse was hit with a 40-day ban for insulting a referee while playing for Stade Francais against Bordeaux-Begles in the Top 14 last month. 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 Rugby Federation (FFR) disciplinary committee disagreed with Parisse's version of events, handing him a significant suspension, with 10 days suspended, meaning he would not be able to return until March 18, two days after Italy's final championship clash. But Italy and Parisse appealed and the FFR panel have agreed to reduce his suspension to 20 days.
The No.8 has now been charged with 'failing in his captain's duties' rather than 'insulting a referee.' Along with the 20-day suspension, of which he has now served 17, he will also have to undertake some community service.
Parisse's suspension now finishes on Saturday and it is expected that Italy will throw him straight back into the action. He missed their round three loss against Wales due to the ban and in his place Manoa Vosawai started. But Italy missed Parisse's leadership and the talismanic skipper should be back on international duty on Sunday. He will also be free to play Ireland on March 16.
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