Tigers boss Cockerill given nine-game ban for conduct in Saints clash

BANNED - Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill (picture by Linda Dawson)
BANNED - Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill (picture by Linda Dawson)

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has been hit with a nine-game ban for his conduct during the Premiership final clash with Saints in May.

Cockerill attended an RFU disciplinary hearing in Coventry on Monday night and was found guilty of using ‘words that were obscene, inappropriate and unprofessional and behaviour that was inappropriate and unprofessional’ during Tigers’ 37-17 win at Twickenham.

He will be suspended from involvement in matchday coaching activities, before during and after games, between September 7 and November 2 and has also been ordered to pay £500 costs.

The ban is a consequence of Cockerill’s reaction to Courtney Lawes’ hit on Toby Flood, which the Tigers director of rugby felt to be late, during the first half of the Premiership showpiece.

He aimed his anger towards fourth official Stuart Terheege and when the incident was later reviewed he was ordered to attend a disciplinary hearing.

And though he pleaded not guilty, Cockerill’s actions were deemed worthy of a lengthy ban by the panel which comprised Antony Davies (chairman), His Honour Judge Sean Enright and Daniel White.

A statement on the Aviva Premiership official website said: “(Richard) Cockerill pleaded not guilty to conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or the Game contrary to RFU Rule 5.12 by using obscene, and/or inappropriate and/or unprofessional language/behaviour in an exchange with fourth official Stuart Terheege during the Aviva Premiership Rugby final against Northampton Saints at Twickenham Stadium on May 25.

“But the RFU panel found that Cockerill used words that were obscene, inappropriate and unprofessional and behaviour that was inappropriate and unprofessional.

“Cockerill will be suspended from involvement in match day coaching activities, before during and after matches, from September 7 to November 2 2013. He will be free to resume matchday coaching activities on November 3.”

The ban means that the rookie coaching duo of Paul Burke and former Leicester captain Geordan Murphy will take the reins for the start of the 2013/14 season.

Saints and England hooker Dylan Hartley was also sent off during the Aviva Premiership final and subsequently ruled out of the British and Irish Lions tour to Hong Kong and Australia for calling the referee a “cheat”.