World Rugby

10/08/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/08/2019 06:00

Prop pair fly in to ease Italy injury woes

TOYOTA CITY, 8 Oct - PropsGiosue Zilocchi and Danilo Fischetti had a fair idea the call was coming after Italy's 49-3 defeat against South Africa on Friday.

They watched fellow Zebre propAndrea Lovotti being sent off for a dangerous tackle on Springboks number eight Duane Vermeulen early in the second-half, which also earned prop Nicola Quaglio a citing.

With Conor O'Shea's team having already lost tight-head Simone Ferrari, pictured above, and his replacement Marco Riccioni to injury, the pair were promptly told to head straight to Milan airport.

'These three days have flown by and it is a unique feeling to be here,' said Fischetti. 'I was at home and watching the match and it was great to hear from Gino (team manager Luigi Troiani), pretty much straight after the match.

'I left the next day (Saturday) at seven in the morning because I had to drive from Parma to Milan airport.'

The duo arrived in Japan on Sunday evening, spent a night in an airport hotel before flying south to Italy's base in Toyota City.

While Zilocchi, 22, has already won two caps for Italy and was a member of Italy's pre-World Cup training camp, Fischetti, 21, has yet to make his debut and only completed his first season for Zebre in June.

Lovotti and Quaglio received three-week bans for their actions, which means they are ruled out of Italy's final pool match against New Zealand on Saturday.

It is highly likely that Zilocchi and Fischetti will see some action at the City of Toyota Stadium.

'Making your national team debut at the World Cup - against New Zealand - isn't something that happens every day,' Fischetti said.

'It was my objective, but I didn't think it would come so soon.'

RNS ji/dh/mj