LONDON Warm-up matches are necessary despite the risk of injuries that could end players' dream of playing in the Rugby World Cup, according to Italy's Martin Castrogiovanni.
The 33-year-old prop believes the risk of playing tough preparation matches is worth taking to ensure teams are in the best physical condition.
"It is part of the game. We need to play these matches. We take the risk. You want to win them, but you don't want people to get hurt even for that," Castrogiovanni told the Rugby World Cup website (www.rugbyworldcup.com).
Castrogiovanni, who has 113 international caps, voiced his concern for Wales duo Rhys Webb and Leigh Halfpenny, who have been ruled out of the tournament after picking up injuries in Saturday's 23-19 win over Italy.
"I went to see Leigh after the match. It looked bad," said Castrogiovanni who played with heavy strapping on his right leg.
Italy start their World Cup campaign against France in Pool D in London on Sept. 19.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)