Palmer warns England over Parisse threat
February 7, 2012
Sergio Parisse goes on the charge against France at the weekend © Getty Images
Palmer's England travel to Rome on Saturday for the second round of a Six Nations campaign that opened with a 13-6 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield. Spearheading Italy's assault at the Stadio Olimpico will be Parisse, their inspirational skipper who Palmer believes grows in stature every time he steps into the Test arena.
And Palmer is no stranger to the Italian No.8 as he plays alongside him at Stade Francais. Italy fell to France on Saturday in the Championship's opening game and Parisse and his charges will be out to put down a marker in their new home. "Sergio Parisse is a high-quality player," Palmer said. "He's a very good athlete, very powerful and combines that with being very skilful.
"He has a high work-rate, so he has everything you need to be a top player. It seems as though he raises his game every time he plays for Italy.
"He often plays well for Stade, but not quite as consistently well as he does for Italy. He's the captain, it's a big responsibility for him and he rises to the challenge. He delivers every time he plays for them."
England name their 22 to face Italy on Thursday morning, giving players two days to impress interim head coach Stuart Lancaster.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship