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Former Italy captain Cuttitta dies at 54 from coronavirus

April 12, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Saturday, Nov, 8, 1997 file photo, Italy's Massimo Cuttitta, left, is challenged by a South Africa's player during a rugby union test match at the Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy. Massimo Cuttitta, a former captain of Italy’s rugby team, has died after contracting the coronavirus. He was 54. Cuttitta had recently been hospitalized in Rome with COVID-19 and died Sunday following complications from the virus, the Six Nations said. (AP Photo/Renato Ferrini, File)
FILE - In this Saturday, Nov, 8, 1997 file photo, Italy's Massimo Cuttitta, left, is challenged by a South Africa's player during a rugby union test match at the Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy. Massimo Cuttitta, a former captain of Italy’s rugby team, has died after contracting the coronavirus. He was 54. Cuttitta had recently been hospitalized in Rome with COVID-19 and died Sunday following complications from the virus, the Six Nations said. (AP Photo/Renato Ferrini, File)

ROME (AP) — Massimo Cuttitta, a former captain of Italy’s rugby team, has died after contracting the coronavirus. He was 54.

Cuttitta had recently been hospitalized in Rome with COVID-19 and died Sunday following complications from the virus, the Six Nations said.

Cuttitta played on the Italy side that stunningly beat Scotland in its first-ever Six Nations game in 2000. He was the Azzurri captain 22 times in 69 appearances and went on to become a scrum coach for Scotland.

Born in Italy, Cuttitta and his twin brother Marcello Cuttitta — who also played for the national team — grew up in South Africa.

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Marco Bollesan, another former Italy captain who then coached the Azzurri, also died Sunday. He was 79. The Italian Rugby Federation said Bollesan had been ill and died of natural causes.

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