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RugbyU: England wary of Italy slip-up as Grand Slam looms

England have never lost any of their 18 Tests against Italy and a heavy victory over the Azzurri at Twickenham on Sunday could all but assure Stuart Lancaster's Grand Slam chasers of the title. Logic suggests England, who name their team on Friday, ought to win well and move closer to a first Grand Slam since their World Cup-winning year of 2003. However, logic would not have forecast pre-tournament favourites France would now be bottom of the table and facing the prospect of a first whitewash in more than 50 years.

RugbyU: Parisse cleared to face England in Six Nations

Influential Italy captain Sergio Parisse was on Wednesday cleared to face England in the Six Nations on Sunday. Parisse had his ban imposed by the French Rugby Federation (FFR) reduced from 30 days, plus 10 suspended, to just 20. It means his suspension will end on Friday, freeing him for Sunday's clash at Twickenham. "Parisse will be re-activated as of Saturday so he'll be able to play against England," FFR Appeals Commission president Gilbert Chevrier told AFP.

RugbyU: Vosawei in for banned Italy skipper Parisse

Fiji-born Manoa Vosawei will fill the gaping hole at No.8 left by Sergio Parisse, who will miss Saturday's Six Nations game against Wales in Rome due to suspension. The Italian skipper and spearhead was hit with a 30-day ban from all rugby by the French rugby authorities for swearing at a referee while playing for his club Stade Francais in a Top 14 league match. He is appealing the ban, which is set to rule him out of the rest of the Six Nations, but that will not be heard before next week, meaning he has no chance of lining up against the Welsh.

Rugby-Parisse suspended for remainder of Six Nations

PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Italy captain Sergio Parisse has been suspended for the remainder of the Six Nations championship after he was sent off for insulting a referee during a French Top 14 club match, the French league (LNR) said on Wednesday. In a statement LNR said the Italian number eight had been handed a 40-day suspension of which 10 days were suspended. "Mr Sergio Parisse will be allowed to play again on March 18, 2013", the statement said.
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