The rumbustious midfielder fractured his fibula during the Six Nations defeat in London nearly 21 weeks ago but his rehabilitation hasn’t been enough to ensure his fitness to take part in his country’s upcoming warm-up games, a programme that begins with a visit to Dublin on August 10.
“All of us in the group are deeply sorry for Tommaso,” said O’Shea. “We wish him the best for the continuation of his recovery. His absence, both as a player and as a person, will be painfully felt in the coming months.”
Castello added: “Rugby has formed my character and we are not accustomed to giving up, but with less than two months to the start of the World Cup I have to take note that I will not give the team the contribution that I want.
— Italrugby (@Federugby) July 31, 2019
“The Rugby World Cup is the dream of every rugby player and it’s not easy having to say goodbye but, at this time, continuing my recovery and becoming available to Zebre in the Guinness PRO14 season is my main goal.”
Italy, who are in a pool in Japan featuring New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Namibia, are due to spend next week training in Limerick in the run-up to their opening warm-up match against Ireland.
They also have matches against Russia, France and England before opening their account at the finals with a September 22 clash with Namibia. They then face Canada on September 26 before taking on the heavyweights in their pool.
WATCH: Part one of Operation Jaypan, the two-part RugbyPass documentary series on what the fans can expect at the Rugby World Cup
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.