(Reuters) – Prop Andrea Lovotti and replacement Nicola Quaglio will miss Italy’s final Rugby World Cup Pool B game against New Zealand, as well as any potential quarter-final and semi-final, after both receiving three-match bans for a lifting tackle, a judicial committee said on Sunday.
Lovotti was sent off for dropping Duane Vermeulen on his head in the 43rd minute of Friday’s game against the Springboks while Quaglio was cited for his involvement in the same tackle as Italy went on to lose 49-3.
“If Italy does not progress, the balance of the suspensions will be served in the players’ upcoming PRO14 matches,” the committee said.
Italy coach Conor O’Shea is already facing a crisis in the front-row after two of his tighthead props, Simone Ferrari (hamstring) and replacement Marco Riccioni (concussion), had to leave the field inside 18 minutes against the Boks, leading to uncontested scrums.
O’Shea will therefore have to call in replacements for the Oct. 12 match against the All Blacks, with only Tiziano Pasquali and Federico Zani left in the squad. Italy are currently third in Pool B behind New Zealand and South Africa and are unlikely to progress from the group stage.
(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; editing by Tony Lawrence)