Tom Youngs of Leicester Tigers appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel last week following the controversial Leicester Tigers vs Bristol Bears match on Saturday 5 June 2021.
The former England international was charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game, contrary to RFU Rule 5.12.
The interaction between he and the referee at the end of the match was picked up by referee microphones and went as follows:
TY: “What you did mate, fucking not strong enough, for fucking not giving the penalty try”
IT: “On which one?”
TY: “And you get a fuckin fight like that”
IT: “On which one?”
TY: “Mate, all of them”
IT: “Ok, ok”
TY: “On fuckin all of them. You know, Ian. Watch it back, Ian”
The charge was for disrespecting the authority of the match official (contrary to World Rugby Law 9.28) after the full time whistle.
Youngs accepted the charge and was given the following sanction by the independent disciplinary panel comprising Ian Unsworth QC (chair) with Gareth Graham and Chris Skaife:
- Two week suspension from playing of which one week has already been served (Gallagher Rugby match between Leicester Tigers and Wasps on Saturday 12 June 2021).
- The second week of the ban is suspended until 28 February 2022 on the provision that Youngs completes the England Rugby Refereeing Award Course and referees two community age grade rugby matches before the deadline. This is to enable the player to get greater insight as to the particular demands and pressures of being a match official.
- In the event that Youngs does not complete this requirement by 28 February 2022 or he re-offends (on or off the pitch) he would serve the second week of the playing suspension during the next available match.
You can see the entire sequence, including the Young incident and audio of him swearing at the referee, in the below video
“The language used by Mr Youngs was wholly unacceptable,” read the official disciplinary report.
“The suggestion that the referee was not strong enough was equally unacceptable. Mr Youngs told us that he was embarrassed by his words, had telephoned Mr Tempest to apologise and was clearly deeply remorseful that he had let himself down in this way.”
In addition, the events towards the end of the Leicester Tigers v Bristol Bears match have been fully investigated. No further charges will be brought, but warnings and reminders as to future conduct have been made and the matters are now closed.
We’ve never seen anything quite like this…
Bristol Bears’ replacement tight-head prop was shown a yellow card with no time left.
Jon Afoa had previously come off as a ‘tactical’ sub, but tensions rose over his return as both coaches got involved. pic.twitter.com/O8afakCVK7
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) June 5, 2021