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Italy suffers blow as full-back Capuozzo ruled out

2NREAPE Ange Capuozzo of Italy reacts during the Six Nations 2023 rugby union match between Italy and Ireland on February 25, 2023 at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy - Photo: Federico Proietti / DPPI/LiveMedia

Ahead of their upcoming Six Nations clash with Wales, Italy have suffered a major setback as full-back Ange Capuozzo has been ruled out of the rest of the Championship due to a shoulder injury he sustained during the recent game against Ireland. 

Capuozzo, who burst onto the international scene during last year’s Six Nations, will miss the matches against Wales and Scotland, making his absence significant for Italy’s 2023 run-in.

The 23-year-old star will begin his rehabilitation back at Top 14 side Toulouse, who will try to help him recover ahead of their push for silverware. Matteo Minozzi is expected to step in as full-back for this weekend’s game against Wales in Rome as Italy looks to follow up on their famous 2022 win in Cardiff.

Despite sitting at one point in the Six Nations standings after claiming a losing bonus point against France, Italy will miss Capuozzo’s X-factor as he currently ranks fourth in this year’s Six Nations for metres made with an impressive 301, averaging 100 per match.

In addition to Italy’s setback, Wales will also be without wing Alex Cuthbert for the rest of the Championship due to a foot issue. Cuthbert will miss the matches against Italy and France, but Josh Adams and Louis Rees-Zammit are expected to continue as wings for Wales, as head coach Warren Gatland has opted not to replace Cuthbert ahead of the Rome clash.