Italy replacement prop Nicola Quaglio has been cited for his involvement in a tackle on South Africa’s Duane Vermeulen which led to prop Andrea Lovotti being sent off during their Rugby World Cup clash.
Quaglio, who was cited by citing commissioner John Montgomery, had no action taken against him during Friday’s match between the two sides.
Lovotti was sent off for dropping Vermeulen on his head in the 43rd minute as Italy went on to lose 49-3 to the Springboks, with their slim hopes of progressing now resting on beating New Zealand for the first time.
The two players will appear at a disciplinary hearing set to take place in Tokyo on Sunday before a three-man panel.
Italy coach Conor O’Shea is already facing a crisis in the front-row after two of his tighthead props, Simone Ferrari (hamstring) and replacement Marco Riccioni (concussion), both had to leave the field inside 18 minutes against the Boks, leading to uncontested scrums.
Should he lose Lovo tti and Quaglio as well for the October 12 meeting with the All Blacks, O’Shea will have to call in replacements with only Tiziano Pasquali and Tiziano Pasquali left in the squad.
O’Shea was scathing of the tackle post-match, describing it as “crass stupidity”.
The Italy head coach has said that the incident has left his team – and the red-carded Lovotti – distraught.
“The first thing is all of us are destroyed. South Africa were stronger than us today. At 17-3 we made this line-break and then something inexplicable happened and after the red card the match was over.
“We’d already lost two players (props Simone Ferrari and Marco Riccioni) in the first half. We said before the match that we had to do everything perfectly. We came in with confidence. You prepare for a lot of eventualities but you can’t prepare for that.
“If we’d scored, you’d ask a question in the back of their minds. This wasn’t them coming to Italy in the autumn, this was them coming at us when we stood in their way (of reaching the quarter-finals).
O’Shea refused to throw prop Lovotti fully under the bus. “He is more destroyed than we are. I’m disappointed for us because we’ve come so far, and we have a lot of young players who will benefit from a game like that. That was a day they should only learn from once they get over the disappointment.”
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