Richard Cockerill escapes punishment over Sale Sharks ‘cheat’ comments


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The Independent Online

Richard Cockerill will not face disciplinary action over his post-match comments made following last Saturday’s Premiership game between Leicester and Sale Sharks.

The Leicester rugby director spoke out immediately after the game at Welford Road when asked to comment on a series of reset scrums.

The Rugby Football Union has now confirmed there will be no action taken against the former England hooker, while Leicester issued a statement yesterday clarifying the context of Cockerill’s remarks.

Speaking in his press conference immediately after Leicester’s 30-23 victory, Cockerill said: “Sale were competitive, but when sides come to cheat and cheat and cheat... They were not engaging properly.”

Leicester have now said there was no intent by Cockerill to question the integrity of match referee Matthew Carley or Sale’s rugby director, Steve Diamond.

Cockerill began the current campaign by serving a nine-week touchline ban imposed by the RFU for using obscene language towards fourth official Stuart Terheege during the Premiership final against Northampton at Twickenham last May.

In their statement, Leicester said: “In retrospect, and away from the heat of the moment immediately following a tense and important league fixture, Richard says he could have more accurately characterised his description of the incident as ‘gamesmanship’, and also that there  was no intention to question the integrity of either the match referee or opposite number, Steve Diamond of Sale Sharks.”