BACK IN THE FOLD: Enrico Bacchin, middle, has been called into the Italy squad as an injury replacement

 

LONDON, 10 Sept - Enrico Bacchin has been drafted in to Italy’s Rugby World Cup 2015 squad following a tournament-ending injury to his Benetton Treviso teammate, Luca Morisi.

The Azzurri’s 24-year-old centre Morisi suffered a torn ligament in his right knee during Saturday’s ill-fated test with Wales at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, which also saw two key Welsh players, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb, stricken with injuries that will keep them out of the event.

Yet the injury offers a fresh opportunity for 22-year-old Bacchin, who did not make the cut for the original 31-strong squad after playing three games in the Six Nations championship and then featuring in Italy's pre-World Cup camp.

Bacchin made his debut in the starting line-up in the victory over Scotland at Murrayfield in February and then featured as a replacement during the defeats by France and Wales in Rome.

Coach Jacques Brunel’s main concern still remains the fitness of inspirational captain Sergio Parisse, the number eight who is critical to their cause.

Parisse needed fluid drained from his left leg and is recovering from an operation on Monday in Paris after he too suffered injury against Wales. It is still hoped he will return in time for their opening fixture in Pool D against France at Twickenham on September 19.

RNS ic/js/ej