Front-row blow for Italy

Italy forwards Leonardo Ghiraldini and Andrea Lovotti have been ruled out of the Azzurri's Tests against South Africa and Tonga.

Ghiraldini (hooker) limped off with a toe injury early in Italy's match against the All Blacks in Rome on Saturday, while Lovotti (prop) suffered a rib injury.

Both players have been sent back to their respective clubs, with coach Conor O'Shea calling up Nicola Quaglio and Tommaso D'Apice as their replacements.

'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,' confirmed team manager Luigi Troiani.

South African-born duo Braam Steyn and Dries van Schalkwyk are both in Italy's squad and will come up against their compatriots if they are selected in the match 23.

Photo: Getty Images

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Mariette Adams