Turning out against Scotland for the tenth time will be Sergio Parisse, the 29-year-old No. 8 already capped 92 times but of whom even bigger things are now expected. There are many observers who feel the emergence of others to take the strain, as highlighted in the 23-18 win over France last weekend, has spared Parisse the burden of having to carry the side almost single-handedly.
Although still captain, Parisse, a world player of the year nominee in 2008, is no longer the only decision maker for the Italians and it showed in Rome where he had a freshness about his play as he added a tenth international try. Parisse previously scored a drop goal against Scotland at Murrayfield in 2009, something the 72-times capped Lamont seemed wary of. “Parisse is a massive threat and has been for years,” he said. “We know he is a talisman for Italy and if he gets some go-forward, he can be extremely dangerous.
“Italy played really well last weekend and, like England, they took the ball up well in the forwards and had some fast attacks. We know what Italy are going to do but we have to work round that.”