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Rugby World Cup
End of the World for D'Apice
ESPNscrum Staff
September 22, 2011
Italy's Tommaso D'Apice in training, Villabassa, Italy, July 13, 2011
D'Apice will have to return to Italy after his World Cup ending injury © Getty Images
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Tommaso D'Apice has been forced to withdraw from Italy's World Cup squad after MRI scans revealed he had sustained damage to his left knee's ligaments which requires a rest period of 21 days.

The hooker picked up the injury late in the Azzurri's 53-17 win over Russia at Trafalgar Park on Tuesday. His recovery time means he will be unavailable to Italy coach Nick Mallet for the matches with USA on September 27 and Ireland on October 2.

"I am extremely sad to be leaving the World Cup," said D'Apice, "but I spoke to Nick and we agreed that the right thing was for me to return to Italy."

The Italians must wait for World Cup doctors to verify the injury before they can call up a replacement. D'Apice made his international debut in the pre-RWC warm-up match against Japan in August. His appearance off the bench against Russia was his first of the tournament.

"It isn't easy to leave a World Cup after only having played a small part, but I am 23 and will continue to work hard to make myself a regular member of the squad," he added. "I have only been in the squad for a few months, but even those few months were enough to make me understand how united this squad is.

"I wish my teammates good luck and hope they can continue as they played against Russia and reach the next round, because we deserve to."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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