Parisse ruled out of RWC opener

Italy will be without their skipper Sergio Parisse for their Rugby World Cup opener against France at Twickenham because of injury.

The number eight needed his leg drained after the final warm-up game against Wales, and the Azzurri confirmed that he wouldn't be fit for the opening game against les Bleus next Saturday.

Jacques Brunel was more optimistic over centre Gonzalo Garcia, but Parisse is now targeting the game against Canada, while the Italy coach feels his side can trouble France and Ireland in the battle for a quarter-final place.

"We hope to get Sergio back for Canada, while Gonzalo can play the first game," said Brunel.

"We can make the favourites, France and Ireland, doubt, we have the quality to do so."

Team manager Luigi Troiani added: "We're in constant contact with the medical staff: Parisse is getting better but won't be ready for the game against France. There's no point him travelling now, if everything goes well, he will join us in London by train on Tuesday or Wednesday."

Parisse will undergo a final medical exam on Monday to work out the risks of phlebitis.