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Bath wing Anthony Watson hit with offensive language charge following red card

Published 11/04/2016

Anthony Watson could be hit with a lengthy ban by the RFU's disciplinary panel
Anthony Watson could be hit with a lengthy ban by the RFU's disciplinary panel

England wing Anthony Watson will answer allegations he "used offensive, inappropriate and unprofessional language" towards match officials after being sent off in Bath's 30-10 defeat to Saracens.

Watson will come before a three-man RFU disciplinary panel in Bristol on Tuesday night, to answer the charge of tackling a player in the air that led to his red card in the April 1 Aviva Premiership match.

The 22-year-old was given his marching orders for upending Saracens full-back Alex Goode in Bath's heavy loss at the Recreation Ground.

Both Watson and Bath were furious with the dismissal, and the west country club could yet claim that Chris Ashton checking the winger's run helped cause the incident.

But now Watson must respond at the hearing to another charge, relating to an alleged spat with the fourth official as he left the field.

"Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby will appear before an RFU disciplinary panel charged with tackling the player in the air, contrary to law 10.4(i) and for a breach of law 10.4(m) and/or conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or the Game, contrary to RFU Rule 5.12," reads an RFU statement.

"During the Aviva Premiership match between Bath and Saracens on 1 April, Watson was red carded for tackling Alex Goode of Saracens while in the air. The incident occurred in the second half of the match.

"Following the sending off Watson allegedly used offensive, inappropriate and unprofessional language and behaviour towards the fourth official.

"The player will appear before a three-person RFU disciplinary panel on Tuesday 12 April at 6:30pm in Bristol."

England's Six Nations Grand Slam winner Watson could face a minimum suspension of two weeks if the disciplinary panel impose any sanction on his challenge on Goode, but could yet take a dim view of his reaction to the red card if the charge of abusing an official is proven.

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