James Tedesco shares a laugh with his teammates.
James Tedesco shares a laugh with his teammates. CAROL CHO

Tedesco pleads for second chance after pub stoush

RUGBY LEAGUE: James Tedesco has revealed how he begged Italian officials to keep Shannon Wakeman in their World Cup squad despite allegedly being on the receiving end of a coward's punch from him during a night out at a Cairns pub.

Tedesco and his Italian teammates were out drinking at a Cairns nightspot on Sunday night following their shock 36-12 loss to Ireland when the incident took place.

Tedesco fell to the ground and shocked teammates turned on Wakeman as security staff rushed in.

According to reports, Wakeman thought Tedesco had propositioned his girlfriend AImee Bllomfield.

Tedesco told The Courier Mail that he wasn't injured in the attack.

"It was just a miscommunication between myself and him, there were a few drinks and it quickly escalated,” Tedesco 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.

"It wouldn't have been right if we had gotten rid of him.

"It took a bit of courage from both of us to admit we were wrong - it takes a bigger man not to hold a grudge.”

James Tedesco says the Italian side's focus is on their next World Cup game.
James Tedesco says the Italian side's focus is on their next World Cup game. DAVE HUNT

Wakeman's Italian teammates were initially angered by the incident. The Huddersfield prop had his hotel pass confiscated and he was told to make his own way home.

It was only when Tedesco pleaded with coach Cameron Ciraldo and other coaching staff the next morning to keep him that Wakefield was spared the axe.

Tedesco said the Azzurri now just want to turn around their World Cup campaign.

"It wasn't a good 24 hours for the team, a lot of people were expecting big things from us, and to have a disappointing loss, we'll look to bounce back against the USA,” he said.

Italy take on USA in Townsville on Sunday afternoon.


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