ITALIANS GO ON STRIKE OVER BONUS PAYMENTS
Italy have been forced to suspend their World Cup training camp after their players went on strike over bonus payments for the tournament.
The Italy squad refused to take part in training or wear official Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) sponsored kit after the 40-strong group assembled for a three-week camp in Villabassa, near Bolzano last Sunday.
The stand-off with the FIR centres upon the fee structure for participating in the World Cup, with the players demanding match-by-match bonus scheme.
The FIR have instead offered a one-off bonus payment linked to the players' performance for the whole of the tournament.
The disruption is that last thing Italy head coach Jacques Brunel would have wanted as he begins preparations for his side's campaign, which will include matches against Ireland and France.
The FIR however appear to be in no mood to compromise, claiming that a "final proposal" has already been offered to the players and suspending the training camp until an agreement is reached.