Johnstone asks Dominguez to play on
March 31, 2000

Italy coach Brad Johnstone appealed on Friday to his talismanic fly-half Diego Dominguez not to quit the international stage after Saturday's Six Nations match with France at the Stade de France.

The Argentine-born player, who plays his club rugby for Stade Francais, announced this week that he was to bring down the curtain on his Italy career after the conclusion of their first ever Six Nations campaign.

But Johnstone, who has signed a two year contract with the Italians following a successful World Cup campaign with Fiji last year, believes his star player still has two or three seasons at the top.

"Obviously it is a huge loss to Italian rugby," said the former All Black prop.

"I believe he has two or three years left at the top but I think the (Italian Rugby) Federation would have to find a way to motivate him to play again. I believe it is in the hands of the president (of the Federation)."

Italy skipper Alessandro Troncon was more circumspect, saying: "I think at 34 years it is his (Dominguez's) decision, he has played at a very high level. We must respect his decision. I hope but ..."

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