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 Full-back Paolo Vaccari has also been withdrawn from the squad with a groin injury.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.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.