Many eyes will be on Saturday’s final between La Rochelle and Leinster. A rematch of the 2022 event, as part of an exciting weekend of European rugby. Although it may be the supporting act on the bill. The Challenge Cup features a historic match between Toulon and Glasgow Warriors as one of rugby’s greatest entertainers. Italian star Sergio Parisse, attempts to end his career as a champion. RWC 2023 fans can buy Italy Rugby World Cup Tickets from our website.

For many rugby fans, it marks the end of an era during which the towering back-row’s exquisite skill set wowed everyone who ever saw him play. Whatever your opinion, there is no doubt that Parisse’s impending retirement will leave a void of pure entertainment and tactical unpredictability that might never be seen quite like this again in the modern game.

Italian star Sergio Parisse is hopeful for the Rugby World Cup 2023
Italian star Sergio Parisse is hopeful for the Rugby World Cup 2023

For many, he is in the discussion as the greatest number 8 in the past and 1 of the most gifted aptitudes rugby has ever observed. Parisse spoke with James While of Planet Rugby from his home in Toulon about the upcoming game and the longevity of the Italian great.

Retirement is calling

Parisse stated, “I cannot believe I am getting close to 40 and yet in a situation where I can enjoy playing.”

“My goal this week is to not overthink things, but I’m also quite cognizant that after the final. I undoubtedly have two more playoffs with a Top Fourteen weekend, and then it’s gone, bang! My career is done.

“I want to take in as much of it as I can and transmit with me the miracles, sounds, and trails of a packed Dublin. You know, it’s huge for a 39-year-old to participate in a European final. And I never ever imagined that my career would continue at this age.

“I tell you, when you’re nineteen, you have all of your goals ahead of you. You work as an expert sportsperson, and retirement is something you can’t even imagine. When you become a player at the age of 32 or 33. You begin to believe that my career is almost over. Perhaps you believe that I will work until I’m 34 or 35 at most before I stop. Yet, to reach 39 almost 40 is such a bonus.

I am very grateful that my body has enabled me to accomplish this, and my one driving force is to help Toulon. A team that has believed in me up until this point, win a trophy.

“I really can’t express how delighted I am to be in this position and how proud I am of the progress I have made in the sport. I wouldn’t change very much at all,” the Italian legend declared.

Glasgow problem

Although Toulon has received a lot of attention in the lead-up, Glasgow Warriors’ challenge to us is unquestionably important.

“I am very familiar with Franco since he was a player with me when I first joined Benetton 22 years ago. And I am well aware of his outstanding rugby intellect. He is an extremely intelligent man, and Glasgow will be superbly prepared thanks to his attention to detail as a coach.

Aside from demonstrating how strong the URC is and how effectively Franco prepares his squad. His team’s performance in the semifinal matchup against the Scarlets was excellent.

Sergio Parisse, wants to end his career as a Rugby World Cup 2023 champion
Sergio Parisse wants to end his career as a Rugby World Cup 2023 champion

“In any final, both sides are under a lot of pressure, but we have absolutely learned to just be ourselves. We are aware of the strengths of our set-piece and power game, but it is crucial that we manage where the energy is best employed and concentrate on upholding our discipline as well, particularly given the number of cards used in the current game, according to Parisse.”

Key figures

We are fortunate to have two Test captains who are both elite athletes in our team. Charles Ollivon and Dan Biggar, are important and contrasting voices in our forwards and backs, respectively. Our leadership is crucial in this regard. Dan has been fantastic since he joined us; he has a really resolute voice on the playing field. RWC fans can buy Rugby World Cup 2023 Tickets from our website.

He moved in close to 200 metres from where I live in Toulon and is now my neighbour, so we frequently interact. Sergio speaks French already at a semi-fluent level. Which is better than some foreign players who have lived in this country for four years, which speaks volumes about his professionalism and dedication.

He is extremely clear about what he expects from the players who will be supporting him, which is important for a fly-half. He also clearly conveys the plan. You can always hear his voice, and more importantly, he plays with such passion and propels us ahead.

Above all, he directs our play to the appropriate parts of the field and masterfully controls the game.

“Charles speaks in a very different manner. He is one of the best flankers in the world, a great athlete, and a huge presence on the pitch. He brings a plethora of different sorts of leadership, and he is such a nice man. You know, he doesn’t like to talk a lot or give long speeches. Instead, he speaks quietly but with great concentration, which gives other people a lot of confidence.

“He is a corporeal juggernaut, a lineout king, and somebody who always stabs to lead by instance. He is also constantly in the tackle and contact zone. I enjoy playing with him and Cornell du Preez in the back row personally. I think our team has a wonderful skill balance, and Charles’ set piece, defence, and support handling talents.

Together with Cornell’s work ethic on the field and in the gain line. Offer me the freedom to play my natural game in the back of the scrum, according to Parisse.


In the past month, Parisse lost his father, Sergio Senior. A renowned figure in the game and a former Italian international. The Toulon number eight, who previously refrained from discussing his devastating loss. Now feels at peace with his loss and acknowledges that his father was one of the most influential people in his career.

“I don’t stake much about my own life. But it’s factual that he was a great source of inspiration for me. Naturally, I’ll be thinking about him a lot on Friday night. Despite the fact that I played well, he never offered me any praise over my whole 22-year professional career.

Why are we discussing this pass or kick when you made so many errors, he would ask. He would occasionally point out missed tackles or instances where I had turnovers. And I enjoyed it because it forced me to be accountable. Above all, Dad advised me to never be average and to be authentic in how I express myself.

His advice to me was to never settle for mediocrity and to constantly push myself to do better. Those are the statements I’ll keep in mind when I compete on Friday. And if I win a prize, I can be sure that my father will be watching happily.

Parisse will compete in a record-breaking sixth Rugby World Cup
Parisse will compete in a record-breaking sixth Rugby World Cup

Italian Job

Given his form and fitness, Parisse surprisingly appears unlikely to be included in Kieran Crowley’s plans for Italy at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Many might assume that Parisse will play to remind the Azzurri coach of the talents he could bring in a final performance on the international stage, but the former Italy captain doesn’t quite see it that way.

Parisse said, “Look, there is nothing to say to Kieran.”

“He is aware of my availability over the past two years, the value I can bring, and the fact that if it occurs, it happens. I am resigned to the reality that my name won’t be on the roster since I have no control over what takes place off the field and I don’t need to push things. I am really appreciative of the job I have had, so whatever. If he decides I am not the one to hire, that’s fine with me.”

Many in the sport would be thrilled to see Parisse compete in a record-breaking sixth Rugby World Cup wearing the blue shirt one last time. However, those aspirations currently only exist as hopes. The Challenge Cup final on Friday must be the main emphasis because it will be the 39-year-old’s final opportunity to retire as a champion and in style.

“In general, I feel as though I can enter and play this final without any constraint and without any mental diversion. Whether we win or lose, I’m sure there will be a few emotional moments, but I do know that I am incredibly proud of my trip and how I was able to share it with the lovely fans of this fantastic sport.

Sergio Parisse wants to play well in European Challenge Cup Final
Sergio Parisse wants to play well in European Challenge Cup Final

“It’s been quite incredible, and I thank everyone for that,” Parisse said in closing.

No matter which team you root for, whether you are at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin or at home watching on television, make the most of Sergio Parisse’s final 80 minutes and cheer as he leaves the pitch because there is no doubt that he left the number eight shirts of the world in a better state than when he found them almost 25 years ago.

The 142 times-capped number eight has given rugby 22 years of thrills and brilliance, and it goes without saying that his retirement will leave the sport much worse off. is the best website to buy Rugby World Cup Tickets. RWC 2023 fans can buy France Rugby World Cup Tickets from our website.