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15th Jun 2015

One of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup rivals have gone on strike during their training camp

Will Slattery

There’s trouble in Italy.

With the World Cup on the horizon, Jacques Brunel’s men had convened for a training camp but a dispute over World Cup appearance fees has seen the players go on strike.

The players want to get a match-by-match payment while the administrators are pushing for a one-off bonus linked to how well they do at the tournament.

“The Italian Rugby Federation has taken note of the willingness expressed last night by the players called to the rally in Villabassa with the National Team, not to take part in the training and not to wear (FIR) sports equipment until reaching an economic agreement for participation in the summer preparation and the Rugby World Cup in September in England,” read an FIR statement.

“The stance of last night does not change the will of the Federal Council – fully shared by the staff of the national team – to reach a financial settlement with the players based not on mere participation in international windows but on concrete meritocratic principles related to performance.”

Italy are in Ireland pool at the World Cup, along with France, Canada and Romania. Any hindrance to Italy’s preparation can only benefit Joe Schmidt’s men, with Ireland scheduled to face Italy in their penultimate pool game at London’s Olympic Stadium.

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