The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
They kick off their 2013 campaign against World Cup runners-up France on Saturday at Stadio Olimpico – who they famously beat 22-21 on their last visit to Italy two years ago.
Lock Francesco Minto is set to make his RBS 6 Nations debut in Rome, while Parisse and prop Martin Castrogiovanni will both take one step closer to the elite club of Test centurions as they pull on the blue shirt for the 92nd time.
Italy come into this year’s RBS 6 Nations on the back of an impressive showing in the autumn internationals – running world champions New Zealand close for an hour before being edged 22-19 by Australia.
And Parisse, who was appointed captain in 2008, is convinced Italy need to start believing they can contend with the big teams if they are to prove they have made improvements since Brunel’s appointment.
“In previous years we have perhaps come into this competition thinking we are not good enough to beat other teams,” he said.
“I think it was something which stopped us doing as well as we could have done against some of the bigger teams.
“But I think we now have a lot more confidence in ourselves, even if we’ve not been getting the victories over big nations our performances have been getting better and better.
“It’s not going to be easy but we believe in ourselves. We want to take a step forward this year and try to get more than one victory this time around because that’s the next step.”