Sergio Parisse desperate to bow out with silverware after wild celebration
Has anyone celebrated more when scoring an 80th minute try to extend their side’s lead from 15 points to 22 points than Sergio Parisse did on Saturday?
Anyone watching the Italian score would be forgiven for thinking he had just scored the winner in the Top 14 or the Heineken Champions Cup final, rather than the final try in a comfortable win over the second from bottom Perpignan at home.
But the 39-year-old is aware that he is in the home strait of his illustrious career, and one that could end on a high before he retires at the end of the season.
Toulon are in a strong position on all fronts at the moment, with a Challenge Cup semi final against Benetton fast approaching. In the Top 14, the win over Perpignan kept them in the top four, which would give them a favourable position in the play-offs. With four rounds remaining in the regular season, Parisse and his team will at least want a home semi-final qualifier place.
But even if Toulon reach the final of both competitions, Parisse has fewer than ten games remaining in his career, which is why he is probably more desperate than ever to add to his trophy haul, and his celebrations against Perpignan showed that.
Take a look:
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) April 18, 2023
There is of course the slim chance that Parisse will be given his final Italy swan song before the World Cup later this year. That match was originally supposed to be at the 2019 World Cup against the All Blacks, but Typhoon Hagibis put an end to that. He was then expected to play the final match of the 2020 Six Nations, but that was put cancelled due to the pandemic. So if he were to get this unlikely swan song, it would be four years later than expected.