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