Parisse wary of Irish tricks

Azzurri captain hoping to avoid past mistakes

Last Updated: 05/02/08 7:43am

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Parisse: Caught out by Ireland in the past

Parisse: Caught out by Ireland in the past

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Italy captain Sergio Parisse has warned his side not to fall for any tricks from the "cunning" Irish.

The Azzurri head to Croke Park on Saturday for the opening RBS Six Nations game of the 2008 season - and Parisse is confident his new-look side can pull off a shock.

However, if they are to win the talented No.8 knows that they have to learn from previous mistakes and keep their cool.

"The Irish are cunning and always try to make you lose your nerve," said Parisse.

"Last time, I myself had some problems with [scrum-half Peter] Stringer. He was great in making me fall into traps.

"But now, and not just because I'm captain, I will not make any more mistakes.

Cool

"No-one will be able to trip us up - we will be cool and think only about playing rugby."

Italy coach Nick Mallett has gambled on his selection at fly-half, with Andrea Masi swapping life in the centres for the No.10 shirt.

However, Parisse believes the decision to partner Masi with scrum-half Pietro Travagli could be inspired.

He said: "Masi has great qualities as a man and a player.

"I am sure there won't be any problems because the squad will do their part and put him in the conditions to work at his absolute best without any risk of making a mistake.

"Travagli plays a lot and is in form. The alternative, Simon Picone, isn't at his best and for that reason he will have to work hard to put himself in the frame for the Wales game in three weeks.

"All the squad are showing great compassion so they can put their two team-mates in the best condition to make proper contributions.

"And we mustn't forget that 50 per cent of the action passes through their hands. Masi is a reliable man for this.

"I've spoken to him at length, he's ready to notch for himself an important niche in this role."

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