It's been a tumultuous few weeks for Italy's Northland-born lock Dean Budd.

In the space of 19 days, 33-year-old Budd captained Italy's national side in one of two triumphant wins at the Rugby World Cup in Japan over Namibia and Canada, swallowed a heart-breaking loss to South Africa, and prepared for a do-or-die match against the world champion All Blacks, only for it to be cancelled because of a typhoon.

The emotional rollercoaster has left Budd, who represented Northland in 2010, questioning his future in rugby as he is only days away from starting another season with Italian club Benetton

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