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Tuesday Mar 17, 2015

Inspirational leader Sergio Parisse on the Art of Number Eight

Roman history is awash with great leaders. Constantine, Caesar, Agrippa… and now Parisse. What separates a good team from the great? When do players become legends? This fascinating video gives us an insight into one of world rugby’s most talented players, Italian captain Sergio Parisse, and the work he puts in behind the scenes.

A stand-out performer in the Italian team since his debut as an 18 year old back in 2002, Sergio Parisse has been instrumental in the Azzurri’s progression to the top tier of International Rugby.  

With 112 caps, Parisse is Italy’s longest serving player, passing previous skipper Marco Bortolami. He also holds the less popular Italian record of most Wooden Spoons.

The former Stade Francais skipper has not had the easiest times on the world stage, with just 31 wins, 80 losses and a single draw, the numbers do not do a player of his stature justice. A man of few words off the field (and sometimes the wrong ones on it), he leads by example.

Never one to shy away from responsibility, when push comes to shove, Parisse is the first to put a hand up and put Italy on the front foot. One of the first of the ‘new breed’ of back row, as he explains in the video, the game is bigger than any one position.

Whether it means taking the ball into contact, calling first receiver, or putting boot to ball, it is vital to make the right decision and have the skills to do it successfully. The extra hours put in practising the basics as well as the playbook really do make the difference.  

Boosted by the confidence of a win over Scotland, and two wins over France in the last 4 years, things are looking up for Parisse’s troops. Unfortunately with injuries in the warm-up and a poor kicking display, Sunday’s game didn’t quite go to plan, with a heavy defeat to Philippe Saint-André’s men.

Win or lose though, ‘Serg’ remains a hero to many and if nothing else, the images of full time at Murrayfield will live on for many years to come. This video from Gillette World Sport takes us into the mindset of one of the most respected players in rugby today.

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