Standoff Hiroaki Ito has pulled out of Japan’s World Cup squad in Australia and will return to Italy, rugby sources said Sunday.

Ito, who recently moved to Italian first-division club L’Aquila, was one of three players called up to the squad as cover for injuries at the start of this month but he told team officials of his wish to leave if regular standoffs Andrew Miller and Keiji Hirose stay injury free.

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