By PA Media
Rugby chiefs have condemned online abuse targeted at Wales players after their Six Nations Grand Slam dreams were ended.
Wayne Pivac’s men slipped to a 32-30 defeat in Paris as France scored an added-time try to ruin their perfect record with Taulupe Faletau and Liam Williams both in the sin-bin.
On Sunday evening, the Welsh Rugby Union published a series of abusive messages which had been aimed at Williams, some of which accused him of costing his team the Grand Slam.
In a post on its official Twitter account which was accompanied by the hashtag #BeKind, the WRU said: “The players are proud to represent their country and their jersey. The abuse players are receiving has to stop.”
A later post added: “In order to help drive the call for change, the players want to highlight the amount of abuse and bile that circulates on social media platforms.
“We value our fans’ support in the matter.”
The WRU’s stance was backed by their French counterparts France Rugby, who responded with a tweet of their own.
It said: “All our support dear friends… This is not the true spirit of sport and this has to stop. Congratulations again on the great performance of your team yesterday.”
Former Wales captain Sam Warburton also took to social media to defend his former team-mate Williams.
“Players are fans as much as anyone else,” Warburton wrote on Twitter.
“They sacrifice time with family, risk of significant injury, enormous pressure and all to make our country and fans proud and happy.
“PS – Liam Williams is a modern day great and iconic Wales player – end of debate.”
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