The Rugby Football Union has issued a statement about the 11 week suspension of Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley.
His plea of not guilty to swearing at ref Wayne Barnes was overruled by the panel. His suspension of 12 weeks was reduced by one to reflect his good conduct at the hearing.
We cannot get around the fact that Wayne Barnes was certain that Mr. Hartley’s comments were directed at him. Wayne Barnes said that if he had had any doubt in his mind, then he would have given the player the benefit of the doubt. In terms of sanction, calling a referee a cheat is an attack on his integrity and contrary to the core values of rugby and therefore we have taken a serious view and provided a serious sanction.”
More top news
Clear and cold with the breeze easing allowing a fairly widespread frost to form.
Doctors had advised switching off the life support machine of little Ava last year but her parents refused.
A special plaque has gone up at St Neots' fire station to recognise a family of on-call firefighters.