Toby Faletau wants Sergio Parisse duel
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons star Toby Faletau would love to come up against Italy legend Sergio Parisse, who is facing an anxious wait to see if he can play on Saturday.
The Azzurri number eight and captain could miss this weekend’s Six Nations clash in Rome because of suspension.
Regarded as one of the world’s finest back row operators, the 29-year-old was sent off last week while playing for his club side Stade Français.
Parisse was dismissed for insulting the match referee in the Top 14 match against Bordeaux-Begles.
A six-week suspension is the least he can expect if he is found guilty of the allegation at today’s hearing.
Dragons number eight Faletau wasn’t about to get into the ins and outs of the affair, but did admit he would like face the Italian again this weekend.
The 22-year-old won his first cap against Parisse in June 2011 when the Italy great was playing for the Barbarians.
Their paths crossed again when Wales beat the Azzurri 24-3 in a dire encounter on the way to their Grand Slam last season.
Faletau said: “We are expecting a physical battle again and it’ll be tough.
“I’m not sure of the case or what he has done or not but we are preparing for him playing.
“He’s a great player, physically strong.
“He carries well and leads well too so he’s great for their team.
“He is regarded as one of the best number eights in the world so it would be great to run up against him.”
Faletau yesterday re-affirmed his commitment to the Dragons until his contract expires at the end of next season, but refused to be drawn on his plans after that.
“I’m still there next season. I’ve got another year left,” he said.
“I’m here at the Six Nations now. It’s just one step at a time.”
On being asked if he would consider leaving Wales and going to France in a big money move like Dragons teammate Dan Lydiate, he replied: “I’m not sure. There’s a lot of time between now and the end of my contract.
“I’m not sure what my options are.
“The Welsh boys in France say it is great out there.”
Faletau was in the crowd during the Dragons’ record defeat last Friday night, the region annihilated 60-3 by Glasgow Warriors at Rodney Parade.
He admitted it was a poor performance but believes his teammates will look to put it all behind them when they face Zebre away in Parma on Sunday.
“It wasn’t the best was it? It wasn’t a great result but I’m sure they are looking to the next game now and moving on,” Faletau said.
“I was down there and it just wasn’t a great day at the office. It was a strange night. They seemed to running in tries for fun. They’ll look onto the next game now.”