Gower blow for Azzurri
Australian has failed to recover from surgery
Last Updated: 29/06/11 8:42pm
Gower: Will miss the World Cup
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.