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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 March 2008, 11:17 GMT
Bergamasco sorry for Byrne gouge
Mauro Bergamasco
Mauro Bergamasco will now sit out all rugby until the start of June
Mauro Bergamasco has apologised to Wales full-back Lee Byrne for eye-gouging him during Italy's 47-8 Six Nations defeat last weekend.

The flanker was banned for 13 weeks after pleading guilty to poking Byrne in the eye as the game ended.

"I apologise to the player in question, Lee Byrne, my supporters, team-mates, my club Stade Francais and the Italian Rugby Federation," Bergamasco said.

"The gesture I made, although serious, did not intend to cause any damage."

606: DEBATE

Bergamasco added: "I am aware that what happened does not reflect the values and principles of rugby, and sport in general and I pledge to show my commitment on the field as soon as possible."

His ban will start on 3 March, the date the 28-year-old is expected to recover from a shoulder injury and he will not be able to play until 2 June.

Byrne scored two of Wales' five tries against Italy at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday in a performance that earned him the man-of-the-match award.



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