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Dragons RFC head of performance banned for Ben Whitehouse incident

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Saturday Nov 25, 2023

Dragons RFC’s Head of Performance, Dan Baugh, finds himself in the midst of disciplinary consequences following a misconduct complaint during the Round 5 URC fixture against Ospreys on November 18 at Rodney Parade.

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The incident, involving Baugh’s interaction with referee Ben Whitehouse (WRU), has led to sanctions not only for Baugh but also for the club.

Baugh’s actions were deemed to violate Championship Rule 4.13, which pertains to communicating with match officials, and Disciplinary Rules 3.2 and 3.3, specifically addressing unsporting conduct.

Consequently, Baugh has been handed a four-game ban, with three games suspended throughout the 2023/24 season.

While he is restricted from the Playing Enclosures, including the pitch and technical areas, he is permitted to sit in the stand, enter the dressing room, and/or the coaches’ box during this weekend’s fixture against Hollywood Bets Sharks in Durban.

However, the gravity of the situation is evident as any repetition of such misconduct by Baugh or engagement in any other deemed actions throughout the season will result in the enforcement of the remaining three games of the ban. Furthermore, a fine of £2,500 awaits Baugh if he fails to comply with the stipulated conditions.

In parallel, Dragons RFC has also faced repercussions, with a suspended £5,000 fine imposed under Disciplinary Rule 3.3.5.

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This rule emphasizes a club’s duty to exercise reasonable and proper control over its players and staff, on and off the playing enclosure.

The United Rugby Championship has made it unequivocally clear that unsporting or disrespectful behavior towards match officials will not be tolerated.

Expressing gratitude for Dragons RFC’s compliance and understanding during the process, the league believes that this incident is a rare and isolated occurrence that is inconsistent with the club’s positive reputation.

The stringent enforcement of disciplinary measures underscores the commitment of the URC to maintaining the integrity and respect within the sport. The league’s stance against unsporting conduct emphasises the importance of upholding the values of rugby union, ensuring that the actions of both players and staff contribute positively to the sport’s image.

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