Exeter Chiefs and England star winger Jack Nowell has been handed a £10,000 fine by the Rugby Football Union.
The fine is related to Nowell’s tweet following his Exeter teammate Ollie Woodburn being shown a red card by referee Karl Dickson.
Facing Premiership rivals the Leicester Tigers, Woodburn was shown two yellow cards. The first was a rather cut-and-dry slap down, whilst the second one was far more controversial.
Covering across the backline, Woodburn charged towards Tigers’ winger Chris Ashton who had made his dive towards the corner.
The impact would push Ashton into touch and, as such, stop the try from being scored. Upon review, Dickson and his team of match officials agreed that Woodburn had dived into a player who was on the ground.
Thus, a second yellow card was brandished, and Woodburn was sent from the field of play.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) April 20, 2023
Leicester would go on to dominate the fixture 62 – 19 as they took another step towards the semi-finals, all the while essentially ending the Chief’s chances of playoff action.
Nowell, who was absent from the clash, immediately tweeted his disagreement with the decision.
Branding the decision ‘one of the worst decisions he has ever seen, Nowell found himself caught in the crosshairs of the RFU.
Nowell’s full tweet read as: “I’m actually in shock, like shock shocked. What the hell is happening? That’s one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen. EVER.”
Este tuit de Jack Nowell por la expulsión del último domingo a Olly Woodburn le costó una multa de 10 lucas £. Además, tiene que hacer un curso de árbitro. pic.twitter.com/4B5XldGVcY
— Periodismo Rugby (@Perrugby) April 20, 2023
In response, the RFU released the following statement: “Respect for match officials – even if we disagree with their decisions, indeed especially if we disagree with their decisions – is a core part of rugby union. It is not a value that we can turn on and off when we choose,
“Mr Nowell accepted his tweet, which was viewed many hundreds of thousands of times, was not fair comment and crossed the line of what is acceptable by a person with his considerable status in the game.”