Benetton star is to undergo surgery on an injury that means he is out of the World Cup

Italy centre Tommaso Menoncello is out of the World Cup with a bicep injury suffered in a 33-17 defeat against Ireland in Dublin.

The Benetton star left the Aviva Stadium pitch in tears and obvious pain on 75 minutes, shortly after scoring the Azzurri’s second and final try of the afternoon. 

Italy later confirmed Menoncello will undergo surgery this week after detaching a tendon in his left bicep. “Examinations carried out on Monday revealed that he suffered from a distal rupture of the biceps,” the federation said in a statement.

Menoncello goes under the knife on Thursday, August 10. He will return to his club for rehabilitation.

Head coach Kieran Crowley now faces a major selection headache. He delayed announcing his 33-player squad for the World Cup for ten days because of injuries during the match against Ireland. 

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Saracens prop Marco Riccioni went off after ten minutes with a knee injury while Gloucester scrum-half Stephen Varney suffered a shoulder injury in the second half. Paolo Odogwu and Manuel Zuliani have to come through concussion protocols.

Now, he has to replace a young player who has quickly become integral to the squad.

Having come through the U20 ranks, Menoncello made a try-scoring senior debut on the wing against France in the 2022 Six Nations. He switched to inside centre – his preferred position – against Ireland and Wales for the 2023 tournament, and remained in midfield for this summer’s World Cup warm-up games against Scotland and Ireland.

Italy, who have never reached the quarter-finals of a World Cup, open their Pool A account against Namibia in Saint-Etienne on September 9. They also face Uruguay, New Zealand and France in the pool phase of the competition.

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