Suspension over Sergio Parisse ends.
Influential Italy captain Sergio Parisse has been cleared to face England in the Six Nations on Sunday.
Parisse had his ban imposed by the French Rugby Federation (FFR) reduced from 30 days, plus 10 suspended, to just 20. It means his suspension will end on Friday, freeing him for Sunday’s clash at Twickenham.
“Parisse will be re-activated as of Saturday so he’ll be able to play against England,” FFR Appeals Commission president Gilbert Chevrier told AFP.
The 29-year-old back rower had been banned after he was dismissed while playing for club side Stade Francais against Bordeaux-Begles on February 16.
The referee for that encounter Laurent Cardona accused the Argentine-born Azzurri star of insulting him in English, a charge that multi-lingual Parisse has vehemently denied.
He missed the Six Nations defeat to Wales in Rome on February 23 but will now be able to play in his country’s last two fixtures, which he would otherwise have skipped.
His charge has been reduced from ‘insulting a referee’ to ‘failing in his captain’s duties’ — Parisse was captain of Stade Francais that day.
As well as a 20-day ban he has also been given community service to perform.
Parisse has been capped 93 times by his country, scoring 53 points, and is widely considered one of the best number eights in the world.
Italy will be eager for the influential player to return as they look to spoil England’s chances of a Six Nations Grand Slam.