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‘Unpleasant’ treatment of Italy team denied by Welsh Rugby Union

The Welsh Rugby Union has denied “unpleasant” treatment of the Italy team during the Six Nations match in Cardiff on Saturday.

Italy‘s captain Michele Lamaro told Gazzetta dello Sport there were “several small, unpleasant situations unworthy of a host country”.

He claimed Italy’s pre-match warm-up was cut short and that family members were given seats with reduced visibility.

Italian rugby player Michele Lamaro. Pic: Reuters
Image: Italian rugby player Michele Lamaro. Pic: Reuters

Sky News understands the opportunity to extend their warm-up was declined by the Italy team’s management and that tickets for players’ families are handed to visiting teams to allocate.

Wales lost 21-24 to Italy on Saturday, meaning the Welsh side took home the Six Nations wooden spoon for the first time since 2003.

But the WRU’s chief executive, Abi Tierney, said relations between the two governing bodies were “as mutually respectful and positive as they have ever been”.

Ms Tierney added that Italian Rugby Federation (IRF) president Marzio Innocenti had “repeated the commendations he made to us on matchday about the warm welcome he received”.

Mr Innocenti said the relationship “couldn’t be better” and that there are “unbreakable bonds” between the two countries.

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He said the welcome from the WRU “was one of the warmest and friendliest that I do recall”.

“In the heat of the game, emotions and small things or behaviours easily turn [into] irritations for the players, making their words sound controversial when they’re not,” he said.

The Italian governing body’s president also said he suggested establishing a cup to be awarded annually to the winner of the Wales v Italy Six Nations match.

Sky News Source