Updated: Friday, 18 April 2014 02:02 | By Agence France-Presse

Italy captain Parisse to make Stade Francais return

Italy captain Sergio Parisse will make his Stade Francais return in the crunch clash with Bordeaux-Begles on Saturday following a back injury.


Italy captain Parisse to make Stade Francais return

Italy's captain Sergio Parisse takes part in a training session at Olympic Stadium in Rome on March 14, 2014, on the eve of the Six Nations rugby union match Italy vs England - by Alberto Pizzoli

The No.8 has been out for four weeks but will be among the starting XV in a match that is crucial for both side's play-off hopes.

"Sergio will start the match and will be our captain," said the Parisians' backs coach Jeff Dubois.

"He's one of the two best number eights in the world, we won't leave him on the bench."

Stade Francais are in poor form with just one win in their last seven matches, which has seen them drop from top of the league to eighth and three points off the top six play-off positions with just two games to play.

They are level on points with Bordeaux but both have their sights set on trying to displace champions Castres in the top six, meaning a victory on Saturday is essential.

"In moments like these it's important to have him back in the team," added Dubois.

"Above and beyond his performances, he's a leader. He's a winner and transmits that to everyone, he gives them confidence."

Dubois said Parisse would probably only last around half the match but the 30-year-old back-rower, who has 105 caps for Italy, said he feels fit.

"I'm ok, I feel quite good. I hope to be able to keep up in this match," said Parisse, who has not played since the end of the Six Nations, during which time Stade have drawn once and lost twice.

"After four weeks in which I've been a long way from the pitch, it feels good to be back in the squad."

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