Gloucester Hit Back At RFU Over Danny Cipriani Charge

“Surprised and extremely disappointed.”

Gloucester have hit back at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) after they decided to charge the outhalf following his arrest on Wednesday and subsequent appearance in court the following day.

Cipriani pleaded guilty at Jersey magistrates court on Thursday morning to charges of common assault and resisting arrest following an incident in a nightclub on the island.

The playmaker was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £250 compensation. He offered an apology on Twitter on Thursday evening, noting he was “truly sorry” for what had happened.

But RFU Head of Discipline David Barnes has take the decision to charge Cipriani, stating the RFU have “high standards” that they expect to be adhered to across the game.

“We have high standards that we expect across the game, in line with rugby’s core values, from all those involved within it. I have this afternoon taken the decision to charge Danny Cipriani.” Barnes said.

Gloucester say they are “extremely disappointed” with the decision, noting they were given assurance that no action would be taken on Cipriani.

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed to have recently received notification of disciplinary action against Danny Cipriani by the RFU.” Gloucester Rugby CEO Stephen Vaughan said

“Yesterday afternoon I received a personal assurance from the RFU that no disciplinary discussions would take place until we had completed our own conversations as stated in our club release.

“With the team in Belfast for tomorrow’s preseason friendly against Ulster, we had indicated that this would be carried out early next week following the team’s return.

“There is no historic precedent of a player being singled out in this manner, and we feel that this disciplinary process has been influenced by the significant media coverage of this week’s events and other external factors and not based on the actual facts of the matter.

“In summary, we do not agree with the RFU’s decision to embark upon a disciplinary process before we have concluded our own internal discussions and fail to understand the reasons for this approach.

“We do not believe that this decision and the subsequent unnecessary public attention that will now follow it is in the best interests of either the RFU, the club, the player nor the game in general.”