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 Full-back Paolo Vaccari has also been withdrawn from the squad with a groin injury.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.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.