A tale of two rugby superstars: Sergio Parisse and James Ryan

James Ryan: Six Nations and Grand Slam glory in first full year of Test rugby for Ireland.

Sergio Parisse has nothing much to show for 16 years of international rugby beyond a global admiration for his gallantry in the face of overwhelming odds.

The Italian who could lay justifiable claim to having been the best No.8 of his generation has a fair few wooden spoons, enough to keep the home fires burning but then they come with the territory, a bit like George Best when he played for the North, only worse.

Winning the Six Nations has never been a viable proposition for Parisse, let alone a Grand Slam.

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