Italy v Scotland, Six Nations
Denton relishing Parisse battle
March 16, 2012
David Denton has been in superb form this season © PA Photos
Scotland's No.8 David Denton is relishing the chance to go head-to-head with one of the world's best back-rows Sergio Parisse on Saturday.
Edinburgh back row Denton has been a revelation for Scotland in his first Six Nations, starting every match and demonstrating his destructive running from the base of the scrum, and is relishing his opportunity against Parisse, arguably the world's leading number eight. The 22-year-old said: "I've never played against him before and I'm really looking forward to it.
"He's one of the great number eights in the world, but as are (Ireland's) Jamie Heaslip, (France's Imanol) Harinordoquy, who we've played in the last few weeks. It's been a great opportunity for me to learn and test myself up against the best and I think I've gone well so far.
"I think it's about getting it right this weekend against their talisman. I've got an opportunity this weekend to make a big difference. If you can get on top of Parisse it might get them down a bit.
"It's important for me to win that personal battle for the team to do well."
Denton was one of the few Scots to leave Dublin after the 32-14 loss to Ireland last weekend with his reputation enhanced after another barnstorming display. He is confident of a response tomorrow as Scotland seek to end the tournament on a high by ending a run of six straight losses with a first win in Rome since 2006.
Denton said: "There was a lot of disappointment in camp after the Ireland game, particularly that night. But there was a real quick turnaround so there wasn't time to dwell on it. We needed to start concentrating on the task at hand.
"It was the first game we had really under performed in the Six Nations. We've been playing some great rugby and it's about getting back to that this week. We're disappointed with where we are. We're a proud bunch of guys and that's not where we wanted to be.
"It's a really important occasion. We're capable of putting in a really good game against Italy and getting a good win. If we get the scrum right and play some clever rugby we'll do that."
Scotland's confidence remains despite their worst run of results in eight years - a seventh successive loss tomorrow would be the poorest sequence since 1998 - and Denton attributed the belief to the influx of youth alongside the experience in the side.
"We haven't won a lot of games recently, but we've been playing good rugby and we're confident in our ability," he added. "We've got some great leaders in the squad from the senior group and it's the confidence of youth.
"There are a few young guys coming through and we know what we're capable of as individuals and as a team."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888