INJURED: Italy look likely to be without regular Fly-half Kelly Haimona for World Cup after setback
Fly-half Kelly Haimona has been ruled out for at least a month as Italy’s World Cup preparations take another serious blow.
New Zealand born Haimona, who has seven caps for the Azzurri, broke his arm during Italy’s final game of the RBS Six Nations campaign against Wales back in March.
This is just the latest of what has been a less than ideal month for Italy as their preparations were thrown into disarray last month after the players went on strike in a dispute over payment of bonuses.
The worst thing about this situation for the Azzurri is that the Zebre back was initially anticipated to back to full fitness in time for the start of the World Cup. However, that has now been put into serious doubt after it was revealed the injury has failed to heal correctly.
Italian rugby chiefs confirmed he had left the Italians training camp to continue his rehabilitation, and will not be allowed do any contact training for 30 days.
“From the day of his debut in the national team last November, Kelly was one of the strong points of our national team,” Italy head coach Jacques Brunel said in a statement.
“We are preparing for a World Cup and we have to do with those who, today, can guarantee the maximum of his own condition. Kelly will re-join the group during the Rugby World Cup if there are conditions and needs.”
Italy have a been drawn into a difficult World Cup pool as they face Ireland, France, Canada and Romania.
Their opening game is against France at Twickenham on September 19.