FYLDE RFC three-quarter Warren Spragg will miss Saturday’s National League One trip to Cinderford because of an international call-up with a difference.
He has received an invite to the Olympic Stadium in Rome on Sunday, when Italy take on France.
Spragg is among the Italian internationals to be presented with their caps in a special ceremony at the Azzurri’s Six Nations opener.
Spragg, who qualified for Italy through his grandmother, first represented them in 2006 while playing for Calvisano. He also played for the country at sevens the following year.
The outside back will go to Italy with Fylde’s blessing to mark an important milestone in his career.
Fylde coach Mark Nelson will be choosing from a near full-strength squad for Saturday’s trip to the Forest Of Dean.
Sam Beaumont might have been struggling for last Saturday’s postponed home match with Ealing Trailfinders, but the extra seven days should see him OK. Mike Waywell, back from a spell in Hong Kong, and Gareth Rawlings, returning from a massive suspension, should both be involved.
Steve McGinnis and Josh Beaumont are unavailable, though Nelson knew that well in advance anyway.
Fylde are hoping to get back into action at Cinderford after a three-week break enforced by back-to-back postponements.
Nelson said: “We have had more than enough postponements. If we get one more, it would mean extending the season into May.
“The first available date to rearrange another game would be the day of Lancashire’s first match of the County Championship against Durham, which presents its own kind of problems.”