Test Series Bruised Italy depleted for November rugby tests

Leicester Tigers hooker Ghiraldini was forced to hobble off early with a painful big toe injury.

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Italy's hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini (R), seen in March 2015, was diagnosed with an injury to his big toe and is out for the team's remaining November tests against South Africa and Tonga, said Italy's manager Luigi Troiani play

Italy's hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini (R), seen in March 2015, was diagnosed with an injury to his big toe and is out for the team's remaining November tests against South Africa and Tonga, said Italy's manager Luigi Troiani

(AFP/File)
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Leonardo Ghiraldini and Andrea Lovotti are out of Italy's remaining November tests against South Africa and Tonga after the bruising defeat by the All Blacks, it was announced Monday.

Leicester Tigers hooker Ghiraldini was forced to hobble off early in a 68-10 defeat to New Zealand with a painful big toe injury.

Zebre prop Lovotti, making only his ninth appearance for Italy on Saturday, was later diagnosed with a rib injury.

Both players have been sent back to their respective clubs, said Italy team manager Luigi Troiani.

"Ghiraldini was diagnosed with an injury to his big toe and Lovotti suffered a knock to the cartilage in his ribcage. These injuries have ruled them out of further participation in the November tests," said Troiani.

Italy coach Conor O'Shea has already called up replacements for the pair, with Treviso prop Nicola Quaglio handed his first call-up and Zebre hooker Tommaso D'Apice given the chance to add to his 11 caps.

Treviso flanker Marco Barbini has also been called up.

Despite the severity of their defeat to New Zealand, Italy will be looking to give South Africa a run for their money at the Artemio Franchi stadium of Serie A club Fiorentina.

South Africa coach Allister Coetzee was under pressure following a poor run of results, including a record 57-15 defeat by New Zealand last month, and the 'Boks suffered their first defeat to England in a decade last weekend at Twickenham.

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