Italian rugby players probed over bar brawl

Italian rugby players probed over bar brawl
Italy's James Tedesco (R) was hit to the ground in a punch-up in Australia. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP
Two Italian players are facing sanctions after a punch-up at a bar on the sidelines of the rugby league World Cup in Australia, officials said on Wednesday.

Australian media said star fullback James Tedesco was hit to the ground by Shannon Wakeman at The Pier nightclub in Cairns as the team drowned their sorrows after a shock loss to Ireland on Sunday.

Wakeman reportedly believed Tedesco was propositioning his girlfriend, with the melee spilling onto other tables.

“It has been reported in social media and news that two members from the Italian Rugby League World Cup squad were involved in an altercation on Sunday October 29th at an establishment,” Italian Rugby League president Orazio D'arro said.

“As a result of an internal review by the Federazione Italian Rugby League of the incident, both players involved will appear before an internal review committee within the next 24 hours.”

Tedesco wasn't injured and told the Sydney Daily Telegraph he didn't want Wakeman kicked off the team.

“It was just a miscommunication between myself and him, there were a few drinks and it quickly escalated,” he said.

“We were all there after the loss, we wanted to get away from it all a bit. It's sad it happened. The next morning we met, shook hands and apologised.”

The World Cup kicked off on October 27th with co-host Australia favourites to win. The final is in Brisbane on December 2nd.