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Wednesday Jan 13, 2021

Kyle Sinkler banned for going full John McEnroe at referee

Kyle Sinckler has been banned and will miss England’s opening Guinness Six Nations match against Scotland after he was sanctioned for failing to respect the authority of the match official. 

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The Bristol front ranker used strong language towards referee Karl Dickson during Saturday night’s Premiership match against Exeter.

The 27-year-old Bears prop said to referee Karl Dickson “are you f****** serious?” after the official ruled there had been no foul play in a tackle by England colleague Luke Cowan-Dickie.

Sinckler appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel after being cited for the incident.

Sinckler later took to social media to apologise:

But the damage was already done and he has been suspended for two weeks after appearing before an online independent disciplinary panel on Tuesday night.

Sinckler contested the charge but it was upheld by the panel. The independent disciplinary panel said:

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“Kyle Sinckler accepted that he used foul language at the Referee, he did not accept the conduct warranted a red card.

The Panel viewed the live recordings of the incident and were satisfied that his shout of ‘are you fxxxxxx serious’ was:

– Aggressive
– Was directed at the referee.  It followed almost immediately after the Referee explained that he had determined that the Exeter Chief’s Player who had tackled Kyle Sinckler had attempted to wrap his arms.  Kyle Sinckler turned his head towards the referee before he shouted at him.
– On review with the TMO the Referee did penalise the Player who had tackled him.

“The Player was candid in is evidence as to why he had done so and regretted his actions.  The Panel found that his actions disrespected the authority of the Referee and it was in breach of a core value of Rugby – Respect of match officials – and warranted a red card.

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“The Panel determined that in all the circumstances it was a low entry point with no relevant mitigation.”

He is free to play again on 9 February 2021.

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