Rugby Union: Scots hit back in ticket spat

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THE SCOTTISH Rugby Union have accused their Italian counterparts of spreading "misinformation" over the weekend row about complimentary tickets for the function that followed their friendly match on Saturday.

The Italian party were unhappy at what they claimed was an inadequate allocation of tickets after the Murrayfield match, which Scotland won 30-12. The visitors said that the Scots' policy contrasted with that in Italy when the two countries met in Treviso last year. Then, according to the Italians, 140 complimentary tickets were issued to the visitors.

Last night the SRU issued a statement, saying: "It is extremely disappointing that mis-information has led to such public criticism of and embarrassment for the Scottish Rugby Union and the union is asking that the Italian Rugby Union does everything possible to ensure that its council, the Treviso organising committee and the Italian team management and players are made aware of the correct facts."

The Scots confirmed that the Italians received 140 tickets for which a payment was requested as is "standard practice".

The SRU have held an internal investigation and have produced figures which show they bought 148 tickets for the international in Treviso last year at a total cost of around pounds 13 a head. A further 152 tickets from an original 300 allocation were returned to the Italians on a sale or return basis.

The statement added: "The SRU does not understand how the situation has arisen whereby players and officials in the Italian team and management party were under the impression that we were given 140 complimentary tickets last season."

The row is bound to prove embarrassing for the Five Nations committee with Italy due to make their debut in the competition next year.