Richie's record safe now that Italian rugby great to retire

Sergio Parisse. Photo: Getty Images
Sergio Parisse. Photo: Getty Images
Italian great Sergio Parisse has announced his international retirement from the game after nearly 18 years of test rugby.

Parisse has confirmed he will finish his career in Rome, meaning he's made himself available to one or two home games during the upcoming Six Nations.

The Italian No 8 currently sits on 142 test caps, six short of the record held by All Blacks great Richie McCaw.

Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones has 143 test caps and could equal McCaw if passed fit to play in the Six Nations - and could break it in New Zealand when Wales play a two test series in July.

Parisse (36) was denied a swansong against the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup when their final group game was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

Richie McCaw. Photo: Getty Images
Richie McCaw. Photo: Getty Images
Parisse made his test debut in 2002 against the All Blacks in Hamilton against the likes of Christian Cullen, Jonah Lomu, Andrew Mehrtens and Reuben Thorne.

Of his 142 tests for Italy, he has played in 106 defeats.

In an interview with Corriere dello Sport, Parisse revealed after discussions with interim Italy head coach Franco Smith, the test veteran decided he wouldn't play the entire Six Nations.

"I told [coach] Smith of my desire to end my international career in Rome in front of my family, friends and our fans,' said Parisse.

"He agrees that I deserve another game, that I cannot end with that match cancelled by the typhoon. I will face Scotland, England or both, but I will certainly not play the entire Six Nations," Parisse said.

2002 All Blacks side for Sergio Parisse's debut:
15. Christian Cullen
14. Doug Howlett
13. Mark Robinson
12. Daryl Gibson
11. Caleb Ralph
10. Andrew Mehrtens
9. Byron Kelleher
8. Taine Randell
7. Marty Holah
6. Reuben Thorne
5. Norm Maxwell
4. Simon Maling
3. Kees Meeuws
2. Tom Willis
1. Joe McDonnell

Replacements: Dave Hewett, Jonah Lomu, Mark Hammett, Aaron Mauger.