Sergio Parisse closing in on 100 Test losses
If Italy captain Sergio Parisse loses his next Test, against Scotland on Saturday, he will have lost 100 international matches.
The 34-year-old No 8 already holds the record for Test match losses. He has lost three times as many matches as he has played for the Azzurri, with 33 wins to his name, alongside the 99 losses (and a draw against Wales). No matter the result this weekend, Italy will take the Wooden Spoon for this year’s Six Nations. However a win would not only freeze Parisse on 99 losses, but also avoid a tournament whitewash.
Related: What is the Wooden Spoon?
Although Parisse is already considered one of the all-time great No 8, the Stade Francais back-rower has always been up against it. His record may also suffer due to the sheer volume of international matches he has played in, with 133 games to his name. He is now fifth on the list of most-capped players ever.
His first ever Tests outing was against the All Blacks – a team he has faced seven times, losing every time. He has never overcome England in his 14 attempts, or Australia in any of the ten times he has met them.
He has defeated South Africa, leading his team to that stunning 20-18 victory in Florence, in 2016. And who can forget the 22-15 win over Ireland, in Rome, back in 2013 (even if Parisse was yellow carded in that encounter)? He has also famously defeated France twice, and Wales once.
Related: The Six Nations table
Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, USA, Russia, Japan, Argentina, Portugal, Romania, Georgia, Canada and Spain have all fallen to him.
So what about Scotland? Well the good news is that Parisse has faced the Scots 17 times and won five times – and only three of those were at home, showing that fear factor is not an issue.
Curiously, Parisse has never scored a try against Scotland. He has scored 15 Test tries in his career and he has scored against all of the other Six Nations sides. We cannot forget that scored a drop-goal against them, knocking the kick over in the 21st minute of the 26-6 loss in Edinburgh, in 2009. Perhaps he is overdue a try against them…
Italy’s final outing of the 2018 Six Nations takes place against Scotland at the Stadio Olimpico, with kick-off at 12:30pm on Saturday 17 March.