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Six Nations
Parisse: Italy must re-discover 2013 mentality
ESPN Staff
January 22, 2014
Italy kick off their Six Nations campaign with a daunting trip to the Millennium Stadium © Getty Images
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Sergio Parisse insists Italy have to keep taking risks if they are to build on last year's impressive Six Nations campaign which saw wins over Ireland and France.

The Italians have a poor record since the Six Nations was launched in 2000, winning just 11 of their 70 games, but last year hinted at better things to come. They currently have injuries to a number of key players, including backs Andrea Masi and Gonzalo Canale, but No.8 Parisse has delivered a positive assessment ahead of Italy's clash against defending champions Wales in Cardiff on February 1.

"Back in 2008 the questions were all about us having a good scrum, but I think we are more complete as a team now," Parisse said.

"We can play in our backs and play a good kind of rugby, it's not just dominating the scrum. We beat Ireland and France last season and our objective is to continue this way.

"We lost it slightly in games in June and November and we've got to bring that back now. We've got to stick to that attacking style, we've got to go at it, and there are some risks you've just got to take, rather than just kicking ball away and defending the line."

Coach Jacques Brunel admits the injuries to key players are a frustration but is excited by the prospect of younger players stepping up and taking the reins.

"It's a problem when you take out key men like Canale and Masi, because in terms of depth we do not have a pool of 40 or 50 players to choose from," he said.

"Their experience is vital, but what we must do now is usher in young players as quickly as possible. "We have to integrate them very quickly to the level of competition - the speed of the game, the choices, the decisions, the reactions and how you can adapt to what happens.

"What we need to do is trust them, show them they can do what they need to do.

"We have to integrate them quickly and that's where the older and more experienced players come in."

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