Six Nations: Pascal Pape wary of Sergio Parisse and Italy in Paris clash
Last Updated: 08/02/14 3:15pm
Sergio Parisse on the rampage in Cardiff last week
Captain Pascal Pape says France will take nothing for granted against Italy in Paris on Sunday.
The French go into the Six Nations clash in buoyant mood after their stunning 26-24 victory over England last weekend.
But the Italians pushed champions Wales in Cardiff, and have beaten France twice in the last two meetings in Rome. The pack is one of the most experienced around. The eight that took the field at the Millennium Stadium last weekend had won more caps collectively than any other scrum in history.
Lock Pape said: "We know the Italy team has loads of experience, is physically very strong, with a lot of rugby under their belts.
"They are a top class outfit, we are very wary of this team."
Pape knows Italy captain Sergio Parisse well - they are team-mates at Stade Francais. Parisse and prop Martin Castrogiovanni will win their 103rd caps, equalling the Italy record of Andrea Lo Cicero.
"Sergio, is the Italian leader, maybe even their playmaker," said Pape.
"He is also maybe the best No 8 in the world along with New Zealand's Kieran Read."
Pape, standing in as captain for the injured Theirry Dusautoir, added: "We are really keen to build on the win against England."
Parisse for his part said that he believed France will have been liberated by the crucial win over England.
"Of course the French players will remember our game last year, but I think having beaten the English when they were under so much pressure coming into the game will have done their morale and confidence wonders," he said.
"They respect us and know what we are capable of but they will try and impose their rhythm on the game from the start and it will be a huge match."