Sergio Parisse, the Italian captain and star back row forward, has signed a three-year deal with Stade Français Paris that will keep him with the French club until at least the end of the 2011 / 2012 season.
Parisse - one of the five nominees for the IRB 2008 Player of the Year award - joined the Parisien club in 2005 after three seasons with Benetton Treviso and helped Stade win the 2006 / 2007 Top 14 title. He took over the captaincy of his country earlier this year.
No Italian player has ever won the IRB award and Parisse is one of the four players nominated who play their club rugby in the Heineken Cup. He is up against Wales and Ospreys pair Shane Williams and Ryan Jones and Scotland and Edinburgh's Mike Blair. Dan Carter (New Zealand) is the sole southern hemisphere nominee.
In Round 3 of the Heineken Cup Stade Français will host Harlequins at Stade de France on Saturday, 6 December. Tickets are still available for this clash via Stade Français website.