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
Winds will become strong this weekend and we can expect to see some showery rain at times
Care homes in the East of England have warned that spiralling costs could leave some people without any care.
A fund raising appeal launched by the Duchess of Cambridge has raised £2 milion to build a new children's hospice in Norfolk.