Gower blow for Azzurri

Australian has failed to recover from surgery

Last Updated: 29/06/11 8:42pm

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Gower: Will miss the World Cup

Gower: Will miss the World Cup

Sky Bet

Italy fly-half Craig Gower has been ruled out of the World Cup through a knee ligament injury.

The Australia-born No.10 underwent surgery late last year on the injury but he has failed to fully recover in time for the tournament in New Zealand.

The cross-code convert now has been replaced in the Azzurri's preliminary squad for the competition by Kristopher Burton.

"It has not been an easy decision," said the 33-year-old Gower. "I'm not today in a position to express myself 100 per cent and I don't think I will be in the next few months.

"The healing process has not gone as I expected and I don't feel capable of undergoing such high-level preparation without having returned to full fitness."

Italy have been drawn in Group C at the World Cup, alongside Australia, Ireland, Russia and the United States.

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