Despite his absence, Minichiello, who was selected in the Super League Dream Team this season, remains commited to the Italian cause.
“I spoke with the Italian Rugby League and their president, and unfortunately I wasn’t available for the games,” he told Love Rugby League.
“It’s due to family commitments – I’ve got a wedding back home in Australia.
“It’s my brother-in-law’s wedding, and, for me, family has to come first.
“It’s unfortunate that I won’t be there to help them qualify for the World Cup, but I’ve got every confidence in the world that they will qualify.
“When they do qualify, I’ll wear the Italian shirt again.”
“The guys behind the scenes are doing some amazing things for Italian rugby league,” he added.
“There’s a lot of games they’ve been playing in Italy, and they’re growing the league.
“I know the president of the Italian rugby league is doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes.
“They deserve to be in the World Cup.”