Italy coach John Kirwan has had his contract rescinded by the Italian Rugby Federation, it has been announced.
Kirwan's position became precarious after a poor Six Nations campaign
He was under contract until 2007 but his job was under threat after the team failed to win a game in this year's Six Nations championship.
Federation president Giancarlo Dondi informed Kirwan of the news by telephone and thanked him for his work.
They hope to name a new coach within 10 days, while Kirwan has been linked with the upcoming vacancy at Wasps.
It is believed the Federation had planned a meeting to discuss Kirwan's future earlier, but had delayed the decision due to the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
Despite their poor results this season, Italy captain Marco Bortolami said he was sad to see the back of the former New Zealand international.
"I'm very sad because he was a very good coach and a great human being," he said.
"He started the project three years ago with us and it's disappointing to see him not be able to finish what he started.
"I also believe that my team-mates will be very surprised to see his departure, but life goes on.
"We have to wait for the new coach and will do our best to impress our new coach."