Luca Morisi has been troubled by some pretty nasty injuries throughout his young career, but the 26-year-old Benetton Rugby centre still remains one of the best backs Italy has ever produced.
Born in Milan and raised through the AS Rugby Milano juniors teams from the age of seven, his rapid growth at the top of Italian rugby was pretty unstoppable. He quickly became a strong asset for both Benetton Treviso and Italy, forming a pretty exciting centre-field pairing with Exeter Chief Michele Campagnaro.
His senior debut for ASR Milan is dated 2009 while his first cap in the Serie A (Second National Competiton) with the Grande Milano franchise arrived only one year later. Less than 16 months later he found himself, at the age of 18, in the Italian Eccellenza and invited by Jacques Brunel to join the Azzurri camp.
The England match at the 2012 Six Nations marks his international debut and, after a bunch of caps collected as a Benetton Treviso permit player, in the summer he signed his first professional contract.
Unfortunately for him, for Benetton Treviso and for the Azzurri he was forced to take a long break after a late tackle occurred during the 2013 November Test against Fiji where he irreparably damaged his spleen that was then removed by surgery.
Morisi fought back and regained his top form only to being forced out again right on the verge of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. With a place in the squad officially already booked he was stopped a few weekends from the start of the tournament by an MCL injury to his right knee. That same problem reared its head the following April and at the beginning of this year.
But Morisi’s strong character has returned him to the bench this weekend for Benetton Treviso’s trip to the Kingspan Stadium and there’s a vibrant excitement across the country. Should he make his long-awaited season debut, the Italian Team would finally have their prodigal son back on track. The national team still has a long way to go but his game comprehension and tactical ability, along with his strong work in the tackle area, will be needed alongside the emerging new crop of youngsters.