Italian woes getting close to tipping point
It slipped under the radar given the time of year that's in it but over the past few days two more Italian internationals have jumped ship and abandoned the domestic game for a career overseas.
Centre Michele Campagnaro (21) and 26-year-old flanker Simone Favaro will depart Benetton Treviso for Exeter Chiefs and Glasgow Warriors respectively.
Treviso are just above fellow Italian strugglers Zebre, eight points adrift of next placed Dragons at the bottom of the Pro12; these departures make the plight of an already sinking ship even worse.
The European Champions Cup has a serious problem to address - the pool containing an Italian club is so much easier to get out of than any other.
Italian rugby deserves every opportunity but is clearly struggling to stay the pace at club and international level.
Eventually, you can be sure that money will talk and patience will run out.