THE woman at the centre of the storm between Italian teammates James Tedesco and Shannon Wakeman has spoken out after the pair were involved in a brawl last weekend.
Rugby League World Cup officials are investigating the incident at a Cairns nightspot after Italy's loss to Ireland on Sunday where Wakeman is reported to have punched the new Roosters fullback after believing he was propositioning his girlfriend.
Tedesco denied that and both he and Wakeman have said they've sorted out their differences and the two are in line to play the next game against the USA this weekend. According to reports, the former Wests Tigers No. 1 pleaded with Italian officials not to sack Wakeman, despite being on the receiving end of a punch.
Wakeman said his girlfriend Aimee Bloomfield wasn't happy about the incident and she cast doubt on the players' stories that they'd moved on from the ugly encounter.
"I'm not sure that Shannon and James are still talking, I haven't seen them together since the fight … I'm not sure," she told The Daily Telegraph.
Tedesco said he and his teammates were "mucking around" before the situation got out of hand.
"We were together at the pub but it was all just a bit of a muck around," he told Channel Seven. "Then it sort of escalated.
"The next morning I apologised to Shannon and his girlfriend and they were both OK.
"He apologised for what he did and we knew we were both in the wrong."
Wakeman said he and Tedesco made up quickly.
"James and I had already sorted it out," Wakeman told Seven. "My partner as well, she's not happy about having to deal with this."
Tedesco's former Wests Tigers teammate Aaron Woods on Wednesday said there was no place for one-punch attacks on or off the field in rugby league - and he hopes any investigation finds that Tedesco was aware Wakeman intended to punch him.
"I don't know the full details of everything that's happened. I haven't spoken to Teddy," Woods told Sky Sports Radio.
"I spoke to him last week. I sent him a text just to make sure he's OK. He replied he was all right. I don't know the story, but you don't want to be seeing that, the king hit, the one punch.
"It's taken the lives of young kids. It's not just the kids whose lives are lost. The entire family have to move on. It's a really sad thing for people."
He said he hopes the investigation into the incident finds Wakeman did not in fact king hit Tedesco.
"I hope maybe there was a little altercation beforehand." he said.
"If everything pans out, I hope there is a little more truth behind it and it wasn't just a king hit on the day."
Rugby League World Cup officials have hired chief NRL integrity unit investigator Karyn Murphy to lead the probe into the Italian team brawl.
World Cup 2017 tournament officials released a statement on Tuesday night confirming Murphy's investigation is ongoing.
"The RLWC has been made aware of an incident involving the Italian team in Cairns on Sunday night," a statement from the tournament organisers read.
"The matter has been referred to the integrity unit. It would be inappropriate to make any further comment until we receive a final report."
Channel Seven reported both players were set to be whacked with a $10,000 fine for their involvement in the brawl following an Italian team investigation.
- with AAP
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