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Parisse is a top player - Palmer

England second row Tom Palmer insists leading Italy brings out the best in Stade Francais team-mate Sergio Parisse.

England travel to Rome on Saturday for the second round of an RBS 6 Nations campaign that opened with a 13-6 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

"Sergio Parisse is a high-quality player. He's a very good athlete, very powerful and combines that with being very skilful," said Palmer. "He has a high work-rate, so he has everything you need to be a top player. It seems as though he raises his game every time he plays for Italy."

Palmer added: "He often plays well for Stade, but not quite as consistently well as he does for Italy.

"He's the captain, it's a big responsibility for him and he rises to the challenge. He delivers every time he plays for them."

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