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Today's Rugby World Cup News Is Particularly Sad For Some Italian Players

Today's Rugby World Cup News Is Particularly Sad For Some Italian Players
By Mark Farrelly Updated

While most of our attention has been understandably focused on the fate of the typhoon threatened matches in Pool A this weekend, the cancellation of England v France and New Zealand v Italy is not without its consequences either.

Obviously there are the ramifications for the knockout stages, with England, France and New Zealand all getting extra days of rest but for Italy, they have been robbed of an important occasion as well.

Granted they were extremely unlikely to beat the All Blacks and reach the knockout stages but for some players the outcome of the match was not the significant part.

Their captain Sergio Parisse was set to lead his country out for one final time in the World Cup in his 143rd international appearance. RTE.ie report that the legendary captain told journalists upon hearing the news of the cancellation that: "It is difficult to know that we won't have the chance to play a match against one of the great teams."

If New Zealand needed four or five points against us it would not have been cancelled.

It is ridiculous that there was no Plan B, because it isn't news that typhoons hit Japan. The alternative is Plan B. When you organise a World Cup you should have one in place.

Sure, everyone might think that Italy versus New Zealand being cancelled counts for nothing because we'd have lost anyway, but we deserved to be respected as a team

His teammate Leonardo Ghiraldini had battled back from a knee injury suffered in the Six Nations in the hope that he could earn his 105th cap against New Zealand. He is reported to have broken down in tears.

Alessandro Zanni, another stalwart, was in line make his 116th Italian appearance before retiring.

While the safety of fans and players is paramount, the game's complete cancellation is a real shame for those players and indeed all the Italian team and supporters.


With the match declared a 0-0 draw it now means that New Zealand will top the group and face the runners-up of Ireland's pool.

See Also: Two World Cup Games Called Off Because Of Typhoon

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