Jamie Vardy slams Wayne Rooney's Euros 2016 claims in libel trial as 'nonsense'

Wayne Rooney took to the witness box on Tuesday to give evidence for the first time during the high-profile trial, as ITV News Reporter Martha Fairlie reports

Jamie Vardy has hit back at claims made by Wayne Rooney in the libel trial playing out between the wives of the two footballers.

In his evidence to court, Mr Rooney said he had spoken with teammate Mr Vardy during the 2016 Euros (upon instructions from coaching staff) to ask him to ask his wife to "calm down".

But striker Mr Vardy (who was at court on Tuesday for the first time since the trial kicked off six days ago) dismissed the claim as "nonsense".

In a statement read outside court by his legal representative, Mr Vardy said: "Wayne is talking nonsense. He must be confused because he never spoke to me about issues concerning Becky’s media work at Euro 2016.

"There was nothing to speak about, I know this because I discuss everything with Becky."

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The war of words is the latest twist in the libel action brought against Coleen Rooney by Rebekah Vardy.

It all stems from a now infamous post on Twitter and Instagram, in which Ms Rooney accused Ms Vardy (or someone with access to her personal Instagram account) of leaking stories about her private life to the media.

Stepping into the witness box on Tuesday, Mr Rooney addressed the court for the first time and spoke of the Euro 2016 tournament.

He said then manager Roy Hodgson and assistant manager Gary Neville asked "would I be able to speak to Mr Vardy on issues regarding his wife and I think we all knew that it was an awkward subject".

Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy and Jack Wilshere (left to right) during a training session at the Euros 2016. Credit: PA

He added: "It was an awkward situation for me and I’m sure it was an awkward situation for Mr Vardy, but I felt it was in the best interests of the team."

Mr Rooney - who was then captain of the England squad - told the court he "100%” did speak to Mr Vardy (recalling the pair going into a games room with Mr Vardy having a can of red bull and Mr Rooney a coffee) but did not know if Mr Vardy then spoke to his wife.

The former player also said Ms Vardy was "almost there with the team" during "down time" at the Euros due to the amount of time she was allegedly on FaceTime to her husband throughout.

Rebekah Vardy and her husband did not return to court on Tuesday after a short break in the afternoon proceedings.