Worcester flankers Cracknell and Collins banned

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The Independent Online

The Worcester flankers Chris Cracknell and James Collins were last night suspended for four weeks and a fortnight respectively for their part in an unedifying fracas that marred the end of their club's relegation match at Leeds last month.

The incident, which also involved the players' fathers, happened as the beaten Worcester players applauded supporters. Cracknell was found guilty of dragging a spectator over an advertising hoarding while Collins was banned for swearing.

Judge Jeff Blackett, the chairman of the Rugby Football Union's disciplinary panel, said: "Both players acted instinctively because they thought members of their family were being physically attacked, when in fact they were involved in an altercation with each other.

"Indeed, it is their parents who deserve the greater censure for their inappropriate behaviour." But he added it was important the players were given meaningful sanctions.