It’s not right for Italy to give up Parisse
It would be his historic sixth appearance at the highest level in world rugby.
In rugby – at least in Italian – we have no particular experience of world relays or illustrious exclusions from World Cup competitions. In our part of the world, the problem has long been a lack of talent rather than an abundance of it. The one represented by Sergio Parisse is a real precedent.
For example, there has never been a Rivera-Mazzola dualism. Also No “Baggio case” has ever disrupted preparation for a World Cupas happened in football instead, in the summer of 2002, when Divin Codino was healed of Crusader fracture in an amen (81 days between the injury and his return to the field), but was ousted from the trap squad anyway, according to the list at the Far East Edition of the late Rimet Cup.
After all, there seems to be a first time for everything and that’s why Here we are to comment whether it is correct or not Give up Sergio Parisse ahead of the tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup, scheduled for September beyond the Alps (when will it finally be on our site?). This is exactly what Sergio Parisse, real estate owner in Toulon, new winner of the Challenge Cup after liquidating Benetton Treviso in the semi-finals, achieved, practically an Italian national team in disguise. That Sergio Parisse who, in our opinion, Diego Dominguez is undoubtedly the greatest Italian rugby player of all time.
In fact, the answer to the above question is quite simple: no. It’s not fair, we don’t make a big deal out of it, but not at all. We are, of course, in the realm of personal opinions, of the questionable and unprovable, which in the conclusion – fatally – lacks counter-evidence.
That, incidentally, doesn’t seem to stop it from saying that despite all the sporting limitations of a 40-year-old player, Parisse has amply proven throughout the season (not just the last couple of games) that he can guarantee – moreover too an innate, unchanging, and dazzling class – also a physical team that decisively qualified for the top of the best league in the world (Top 14) and the second European club competition (Challenge Cup).
Well, nothing else to comment on. Rather, the real discussion lies in the reasons that led the Italian technical group to take such a decision. And secondly, whether this decision could negatively affect the Azzurri’s performance at the next World Cup.
Things go something like this: it seems to have been technical inspector Kieran Crowley who didn’t want Sergio at the World Cup in France.
Federal officials generally agreed by giving Parisse his sixth World Cup appearance. A goal that would have made him the most league-appearing player of his career and would have written his name less in legend and more in true myth.
The New Zealand coach disagreedHowever, Parisse was able to play his game well in a certain reality like Toulon’s, but on the contrary was not very suitable for a young, dynamic and “working class” team like the Azzurra. Although Crowley’s contract has expired and there is no way he will be confirmed after the World Cup, the Fir wanted to respect his decision.
Autonomy, the coach became aware of that on another occasion: that of the first Six Nations of the new federal leadership (2022: that of the historic victory in Cardiff, to put it bluntly). What caused a stir in this case was the imbalance between the call-ups of players from Treviso and Zebre, with almost all Azzurri being drawn from Benetton and only a handful from the Emilian franchise.
The question that Crowley then apparently addressed to the new FIR administration was whether the convocations should follow a political logic (as has evidently been the case in the past) and therefore should include an equal number of players from both teams, or whether this should be the case respond to purely objective reasons. Support for the second option created an apparent imbalance in the lists.
That explains why. But the why?
The why is harder, but you can figure it out by trying to analyze a character like Crowley’swho – although he undoubtedly has merit in leading a team that seems to have recently rediscovered its identity, spirit and creativity – never seems to have really integrated into the country he represents in sporting terms, nor the people seems to have fully understood.
Crowley has been in Italy since 2016, but he regularly speaks in English with his players and in public interviews. A cultural barrier that has led to more than one misunderstanding, During the time. Remember the challenge lost to Georgia in Tbilisi in the summer of 2022. In this case, Crowley opted to set up the match like a normal match without ever engaging directly with the players, and stressed the importance of a win against the team claiming a place in the Six Nations instead of Italy. This should relieve the Azzurri of the resulting inevitable pressure.
Typical Anglo-Saxon attitude and perhaps good for a selection of native English speakers, but potentially ineffective and even counterproductive for a Latin American national team that makes its existential figure out of passion and the rhetoric of “David vs. Goliath”.get excited when it comes to chasing, and instead typically struggle managing games where the favorite team are the favorites on paper (think, just in the last year and a half, the challenges with Uruguay, Portugal and just Georgia).
Crowley goes to France’s World Cup with his head but not his heart.
The reasoning he makes has to do with efficiency, which is how many tackles or runs each player can make. And on the fact that the sum of all these tackles, ball recoveries and runs leads to a result that necessarily has a positive record and gives access to the blessed quarter-finals, so far only achieved by the Azzurri (particularly editions 1987 and 2007).
Well, that’s fine, but sometimes math is an opinion in sports, even today, and thank goodness! Sometimes we still need bloody flags to wave and tired old heroes to hold on to. Characters that can enhance an entire environment, inspire an exceptionally young team, and teach them how to win certain games. Even those where the pre-kick stats swear there is no hope.
A long time ago, at the beginning of this story, Sergio Parisse was a boy from La Plata, the son of an Abruzzo who emigrated to South America, spoke Italian at home and chose (for many reasons, perhaps initially convenience) to live in Italy to play. He made his debut on a cold night in 2002 at the age of 19 in Dunedin in an impossible duel against the All Blacks, scoring a predestined interception.
He wore the blue jersey a further 141 times, becoming the player with the most cap appearances ever in Italian rugby history.
Over time, it has evolved into an iconic, hyper-technical, and charismatic number 8, anchored in the ideal formations of the Six Nations of the moment as in those of all time, recently crowned – only last in chronological order – by the indescribable Chat Gpt, the Pythia of today, so to speak. Ritchie McCaw – definitely not the new signing – said of him that if he had been born in this part of the world nobody would have taken his black jersey and captaincy from him.
After winning the Challenge Cup in the final against Glasgow a few weeks ago (shot one try, ça va sans dire) Parisse wrapped himself in an Italian flag and completed his victory lap. If that round on the pitch had been delayed a few months, the Azzurri would have fielded a decidedly uncharacteristic number 8 with tremendous physicality and skill on the field, say, the last twenty minutes of each game, the ones in which the underdog so often dropping out of the race, never to come back. Sometimes from shortness of breath, others from inexperience in dealing with those tricky moments where ever-shortening beats add to fatigue and beating, but that’s the way it is.
The pitch will speak for itself, but it hurts not to see the man who has been the oval icon in blue for twenty years. It hurts because the sport, which is increasingly becoming a show, entertainment and escape, can only survive if it remains anchored to certain values, to certain codes, even to a certain basis of well-founded rhetoric.
We don’t know if Italy will reach the quarterfinals at the next World Cup. We sincerely hope so. But we can’t help but think how nice it would have been if Sergio Parisse had landed the tricolore at the final whistle on his well-deserved and very blue lap of honour.