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Parisse dismisses favourites tag

Italy captain Sergio Parisse rejected claims that his side will start as favourites in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Scotland forward Johnnie Beattie earlier claimed Scotland were "absolutely" the underdogs for the Edinburgh encounter.

The Stade Francais forward said: "I do not agree with Johnnie Beattie. We need to keep on improving, we have only won one important game."

Both sides had contrasting starts to their campaigns last weekend with Scotland comprehensively beaten 38-18 against England and the Italians stunning France with a 23-18 victory in Rome.

Italy have won four of the last six meetings between the teams in the competition and Scotland are odds-on favourites for a second successive wooden spoon, but Parisse dismissed the pre-match analysis of his opposing number eight.

The Argentinian-born player added: "Every time we play here in Scotland it is very difficult, with all of the crowd pushing the home side on.

"So Italy are coming here focused and humble because Scotland are approaching the game as the favourites and the home team."


From Belfast Telegraph