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Italy hit out at ‘unpleasant’ treatment at Principality Stadium

Michele Lamaro (C) - Italy hit out at 'unpleasant' treatment at Principality Stadium

Italy captain Michele Lamaro says his team feel they were shown a lack of respect by Wales during last weekend’s game in Cardiff.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday that there were “several small, unpleasant situations unworthy of a host country” during the visitors’ time in Wales.

The Azzurri flanker revealed that his side’s pre-match warm-up was cut short, believing that Wales were allowed extra time to prepare, while adding that family members were given seats in the corner of the ground with reduced visibility and they were also unable to attend the post-match function.

Referencing the build-up to Saturday’s game, which Italy won comfortably 24-21 despite Wales scoring two late tries, Lamaro noted how his side had been written off by Wales in the build-up despite the Italians’ win over Scotland in Rome the previous week, before revealing that he and his team-mates had been asked to finish their warm-up earlier than the hosts before kick-off.

Lamaro said: “During the week they bombarded us with ‘they are good, but make no mistake about it: in Cardiff we will not move’. Then during the warm-up we were told that we would have to return to the locker room 15 minutes before the anthems, well ahead of schedule. We obeyed. Only to see the Welsh on the field at least five minutes longer than us.”

The captain then explained how family members attending the game in Cardiff had been given tickets by the Welsh Rugby Union in the corner of the ground and at pitch level, limiting their view of Italy’s performance. They were also not allowed to attend the festivities afterwards – often referred to as ‘the third half’ – according to Lamaro.

“Tickets were reserved for our companions in the corner: Martina, my fiancée, ended up at pitch height and saw little or nothing. No one, contrary to what usually happens, was allowed into the third half.”

Reflecting on those moments, Lamaro suggested that his young side would use their treatment in Cardiff as motivation.

“As I said: little things. Enough to think that from this point of view too we still have a long way to go.”

Italy impressed during their win in Cardiff, triumphing at the Principality Stadium for the second time in two years and scoring a sensational try finished by full-back Lorenzo Pani.

Despite finishing fifth in the table they also had their best Six Nations ever, losing only two of their five matches with wins over Scotland and Wales while also drawing with France.

Telegraph Sport has contacted the WRU for comment.

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