Italy legend Sergio Parisse set to retire from international rugby during Six Nations

Sergio Parisse has played 142 Tests for Italy
Sergio Parisse has played 142 Tests for Italy

Italy great Sergio Parisse will retire from international rugby in Rome during the upcoming Six Nations tournament that kicks-off on 1st February.

Parisse made his Italy debut in 2002 and went on to play 142 Tests - making him the third most-capped player in the history of the game behind Richie McCaw and Alun Wyn Jones. The 33-year-old also featured for Italy in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

The 36-year-old also became the first Italy player to be nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year in 2008 and again in 2013.

Parisse had plans to quit international rugby at the end of the 2019 World Cup but with Italy's final game of the tournament against New Zealand was cancelled due to typhoon, the 6ft 5in back-row has now decided to bow out in Rome as they face Scotland on 22nd February and England on 14th March.

"I told Smith my desire to end my international career in Rome in front of my family, my friends and our fans," Parisse told Corriere dello Sport.

"He agrees that I deserve another game, that I cannot end with that match cancelled by the typhoon.

"I will face Scotland, England or both, but I will certainly not play the entire Six Nations.

"The national team needs to develop other players with leadership skills.

"If I were permanently in a group, even more if I were a captain, I would occupy certain spaces. Instead, it is time for others to take my place."


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