England International Kyle Sinckler Banned Following ‘F-Bomb’ Aimed At Referee


England and Bristol Bears prop Kyle Sinckler appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel last night and was handed a two-week ban.

He was cited by independent citing commissioner Duncan Bell following the match between Bristol Bears and Exeter Chiefs on Saturday 9 January 2021. This was for failing to respect the authority of the match official, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.28.

Sinckler contested the charge but it was upheld by the independent disciplinary panel, comprising Richard Whittam QC (chair), with Becky Essex and Leon Lloyd, which gave the player a two-week suspension. He is free to play again on 9 February 2021.

The independent disciplinary panel said:

“Kyle Sinckler accepted that he used foul language at the Referee, he did not accept the conduct warranted a red card.

“The Panel viewed the live recordings of the incident and were satisfied that his shout of ‘are you fxxxxxx serious’ was:

  • Aggressive
  • Was directed at the referee. It followed almost immediately after the Referee explained that he had determined that the Exeter Chief’s Player who had tackled Kyle Sinckler had attempted to wrap his arms. Kyle Sinckler turned his head towards the referee before he shouted at him.
  • On review with the TMO the Referee did penalise the Player who had tackled him.

“The Player was candid in is evidence as to why he had done so and regretted his actions. The Panel found that his actions disrespected the authority of the Referee it was in breach of a core value of Rugby – Respect of match officials – and warranted a red card.

“The Panel determined that in all the circumstances it was a low entry point with no relevant mitigation. The sanction is a two-week ban.”

Sinckler will now miss the following games:

Gallagher Premiership: Bristol Bears v Bath Rugby, Friday 29 January
Gallagher Premiership: Bristol Bears v Sale Sharks, Friday 5 February

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