ITALIAN prop Martin Castro-giovanni will miss Saturday’s RBS Six Nations clash with Scotland after being bitten on the face by a dog.
The 33-year-old has been left out of the Azzurri squad for the match at BT Murrayfield after a friend’s pet attacked him on Sunday and left him requiring 14 stitches in and around his nose. The absence of the 109-times capped veteran from head coach Jacques Brunel’s 32-man selection was initially explained by the Italian Rugby Federation as being caused by a “mild household incident”.
However, the true nature and extent of the injury to Castrogiovanni, who has started the defeats to Ireland and England in this year’s tournament, later emerged as Brunel rued his luck ahead of what has been billed a wooden-spoon decider. The Italians will also travel to Edinburgh minus versatile back Andrea Masi – who, after playing at full-back and then centre so far in the Six Nations, suffered a deep cut to his calf turning out for London Wasps in their 23-23 draw with Newcastle Falcons on Friday.
Brunel is also waiting to discover whether lock forward Marco Bortolami, who lasted 45 minutes of the 47-17 defeat at Twickenham ten days ago, recovers from a muscle problem that has plagued him in recent weeks.
Masi’s Wasps team-mate, Lorenzo Cittadini, a veteran of 36 caps, has been called into the squad to cover for Castrogiovanni in the front row, whilst Benetton back Enrico Bacchin has received a first call-up in place of Masi and the 23-times capped Benetton lock, Antonio Pavanello, has been included to cover for Bortolami.
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