Parisse in fitness race for Ireland

Italy have avoided a scare with the news that captain Sergio Parisse will be able to train on Tuesday ahead of facing Ireland.

Parisse went for scans on a possible neck injury on Sunday following Italy's defeat at home to Wales, but an MRI reported that there was no serious damage.

The Azzurri medical staff are now working to make sure Parisse is fit to take on Ireland this weekend in Rome.

"Parisse yesterday [Sunday] underwent an MRI scan after trauma to his neck that he reported from the match," said Italy team manager Luigi Troiani.

"The examination did not show anything special and already this morning he showed great signs of improvement.

"Tomorrow [Tuesday] we hope to get him back on the pitch, to start to prepare for the match against Ireland."