Rugby chiefs have condemned online abuse targeted at Wales players after their Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam dreams were ended.

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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 just one of its players, 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.”

The WRU’s stance was backed by French counterparts France Rugby, which responded with a tweet which read: “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 defended Williams, the primary target of the abuse, tweeting: “Players are fans as much as anyone else. 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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The Guinness Six Nations added their voice to the calls to end the practice. “Incredibly disappointing to see after such an amazing day of rugby.

“The players give it everything they have, representing their teams with pride and entertaining millions of fans.”

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