Canberra stand-off Terry Campese has dropped out of Italy's World Cup squad, with officials claiming Raiders' new coach Ricky Stuart is behind the decision.
Campese, nephew of former Australia wing David Campese, was one of the star names announced a week ago by the Azzurri.
Italy have qualified for their first World Cup and begin their campaign against Wales in the opening double-header in Cardiff on 26 October.
National team manager Reno Santaguida says he received a letter from Canberra football manager John Bonasera clearing Campese to play in the tournament.
But after Stuart was unveiled as Canberra coach on 16 September the player was refused permission to join the squad because of injury to leave Santaguida's plans in tatters.
"We don't believe it's a decision made by Terry. It's been forced upon him," he told Sportal.
"We're not blaming him because he's been put in a difficult situation but it's disappointing because a lot of our plans, promotions and sponsorship centred around Terry.
"He was very keen to be part of it and was giving every indication he was right to go.
"There was no talk of an injury."