Luca Morisi (Gallo Images)
Rome - Italy centre Luca Morisi will play no part in the Rugby World Cup after suffering a knee injury at the weekend, the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) said on Wednesday.
Morisi sustained ligament damage in the warm-up defeat by Wales in Cardiff.
Fellow centre Gonzalo Garcia sprained an ankle in the same match and continues to be assessed. Italy will name a replacement for Morisi in the coming days, the FIR said on its website.
Morisi's absence will be keenly felt by Italy. The centre showcased his talent at Twickenham in the Six Nations earlier this year when he scored two tries, his first a fine solo effort coming after he cut through the England midfield, in the 47-17 defeat.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse continues to recover from surgery to drain fluid from his leg and the FIR said he would join the rest of the squad in England next week.
Italy are in World Cup Pool D along with Ireland, France, Canada and Romania. They open their campaign against the French at Twickenham on Sept. 19.