Italian points machine Diego Dominguez has been ruled out of Saturday's Six Nations Championship clash with Wales in Cardiff.
The Italian star, who was injured during Stade Francais' 16-15 win at Dax in the French Championship on Saturday, will still travel to Wales with the party but only in a support capacity. Full-back Paolo Vaccari has also been withdrawn from the squad with a groin injury.
Dominguez said; "It's a hip injury. I'm very, very disappointed because I really wanted to play against Wales."
The Azzurri have relied on Dominguez's prodigious kicking in recent seasons and will certainly miss his contribution to the side.Ramiro Pez of Roma is the most likely replacement although Francesco Mazzariol is also challenging for the number 10 jersey now Dominguez has been forced to pull out.
The Stade Francais pivot has been an ever present for the Italians this season and his absence will be significant as the Azzurri go in search of only their second ever success in the Championship.
With 946 points in international rugby, Dominguez is second only to Neil Jenkins in the all-time list.
Despite drawing with Ireland in the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations, Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards believes the championship 'is still in our hands' as he prepares his side to face Scotland at Principality Stadium tomorrow.
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.