Rome - The All Blacks have become the latest rugby team to say they will be wearing rainbow laces in their boots this weekend in a show of support for Gareth Thomas after the former Wales captain was the victim of an anti-gay attack.
Thomas, who announced in 2009 he is gay, recorded a video last weekend saying he was assaulted in Cardiff in "a hate crime for my sexuality." He had bruises on his face in the video.
Police in Cardiff have said a 16-year-old boy has admitted to carrying out the assault.
The All Blacks said in a tweet on Friday that their players would wear the rainbow laces in a tribute to Thomas in Saturday's Test match against Italy.
Wales, England, and France have already said they would do the same during their games on Saturday.
Thomas reacted to the All Blacks tweet by saying on Twitter: "I wish I could put in words what this means."
15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Abraham Jurgens Steyn, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), 1 Andrea Lovotti
Substitutes: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Johan Meyer, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Edoardo Padovani
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ofa Tuungasfasi
Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Rieko Ioane