Double blow for Smith's Italy
NEWS: Italy’s 119-cap veteran Alessandro Zanni and New Zealand-born lock Dean Budd both announced their retirement from international rugby on Tuesday.
Zanni, 36, made his national team debut in 2005 as a back-row forward and appeared in four World Cups for the Azzurri.
He also played 54 times in the Six Nations, switching to the second row for Italy in his final years.
“I’ve always worked to return the trust shown in me by the coaches who gave me the privilege of wearing the national team shirt. At 36, it’s time to look beyond that,” Zanni said in a statement from the Italian rugby federation.
His announcement came shortly after Budd called time on his Italy career.
Budd, 33, moved to Italy in 2012 to play for club side Treviso following a short stint in Japan.
He won the first of his 29 Italy caps in 2017 during a Test against Scotland and captained the national team during a 48-7 win over Canada at last year’s World Cup.
“I want to thank all of Italian rugby for these eight years spent together. When I arrived from Japan in 2012, I would never have dreamed of being able to live this fantastic adventure that Italy gave me,” Budd said in a statement.