Rugby player Rebecca (18) dies after tackle
Italian rugby has been rocked by the death of 18-year-old player Rebecca Braglia, who passed away after suffering a neck injury sustained in a match in Ravenna last Sunday.
Ms Braglia apparently injured the back of her neck when her head hit the ground during a tackle while playing for her club Amatori Parma Rugby.
The young player was then airlifted to hospital in Cesana, where her condition deteriorated. Italian rugby's governing body, the FIR, confirmed on Wednesday that Ms Braglia had died.
Daniele Ragone, the Amatori Parma Rugby president, described Ms Braglia as "an extraordinary girl, as well as a much loved and respected player, who in these years has contributed so much to the growth and development of female rugby in Emilia Romagna."
"Now she's playing in the championship in Heaven," said her father, Giuliano.
FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi announced there will be a minute's silence held at all Italian rugby matches across the country this coming weekend.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse led the tributes to Ms Braglia, posting on Twitter that he had been "deeply moved" by the news. "A strong hug for your family. Rest in peace, little one," Parisse added.
Former players Martin Castrogiovanni and Mirco Bergamasco were among those to send their condolences to Ms Braglia's family.