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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 16:21 GMT
Parisse handed Italy captaincy
Sergio Parisse
Parisse gets the nod as skipper over Bortolami
Stade Francais number eight Sergio Parisse has been named as Italy captain for the 2008 RBS Six Nations.

Parisse, 24, takes over from Gloucester lock Marco Bortolami, 27, who skippered Italy 37 times between 2002 and 2007.

Head coach Nick Mallett, who replaced Pierre Berbizier at the helm in November, has trimmed his initial squad down to 25 and omitted Ramiro Pez.

"We are ready to write a new chapter in the history of Italian rugby," said ex-Springboks coach Mallett.

"Sergio is a player who has personality and is respected by his team-mates, referees and opponents, all of which are fundamental to becoming captain."

Parisse said: "I'm very happy and ready to assume my responsibilities. I spoke for a long time with Mallett and (manager) Carlo Checchinato, I know my duties.

"I know what motivated the coach to make this choice and what he expects of me."

The Azzurri finished fourth in the tournament last season after winning two of their five games, but they flopped at the World Cup with a group stage exit.

Other players missing are inspirational scrum-half Alessandro Troncon, who retired after the World Cup, and Roland de Marigny, Paul Griffen and Marko Stanojevic.

Italy open their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Dublin on 2 February before playing Engalnd eight days later.

Italy Six Nations squad:

Backs: Mirco Bergamasco, D Bortolussi, G Canale, P Canavosio, E Galon, A Marcato, A Masi, S Picone, M Pratichetti, KP Robertson, A Sgarbi, P Travagli.

Forwards: Mauro Bergamasco, M Castrogiovanni, CA Del Fava, S Dellape, C Festuccia, L Ghiraldini, A Lo Cicero, C Nieto, S Parisse, S Perugini, T Reato, J Sole, A Zanni.

Bortolami injury worries allayed
23 Jan 08 |  Gloucester
Mallett takes over as Italy coach
03 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union


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