Matteo Minozzi has ruled himself out of Italy's Six Nations campaign stating he is 'mentally and physically tired', writes coventrytelegraph.
The Wasps fullback has been a shining light for his country scoring 11 tries in 22 Tests since making his debut in November 2017.
However, the 24-year-old, who spent more than a year on the sidelines at former club Zebre with a major knee injury before returning for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, looks set to remain in the Midlands rather than join up with his national squad.
"After the Autumn Nations Cup, I've been thinking for a long time about my performance and how much Italian colleagues, coaches and fans expect from me.
"The last year has changed many things, changing the country and a few months after having to experience the UK lockdown away from everyone has been a great and difficult challenge.
"Meanwhile, I've worked like never before in my life to find my place in a super competitive reality like the Premiership and to find myself ready for Italy last fall.
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"I wanted to be honest with Franco (Smith, Italy head coach) and I want to be honest with all the Italian enthusiasts who believe in me and love me: "I'm physically and mentally tired, a bit too much to live another two months in a bubble.
"I hope even if you can't support it, you'll understand my choice. I will cheer for my teammates like I always did for the national team and wish my teammates and all the staff the best of luck. I can't decide if and when I return, but I hope I'll be given the opportunity. Come on Italy."
Full story via coventrytelegraph