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Cockerill charged over comments

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill will face a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel following his exchanges with fourth official Stuart Terheege during the Aviva Premiership final.

The RFU has charged Cockerill with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game, arising from the Tigers' 37-17 victory over Northampton at Twickenham on May 25.

Cockerill is alleged to have used obscene, inappropriate and/or unprofessional language and behaviour when speaking with Terheege. The hearing date, venue and time have yet to be confirmed.

Cockerill was infuriated by what he viewed as a late tackle by Courtney Lawes on Toby Flood. Referee Wayne Barnes penalised Lawes but did not show him a yellow card and Flood was subsequently forced off with concussion.

Having advanced from the stands to pitchside, an angry Cockerill demonstrated with Terheege in front of the West Stand, arguing that the challenge warranted more severe action.

At half time, Northampton assistant coach Dorian West told ESPN that Cockerill had been "intimidating" match officials.

Speaking after a charged Premiership final, which also Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley sent off for calling Barnes a "f****** cheat" in an unrelated incident, Cockerill defended himself.

"They were calling for a spinal board because our player has been hit late," the Leicester boss said.

"I was saying to the fourth official 'surely we need to go to the TMO'. I said the same to (referees' chief) Ed Morrison. We used the TMO the whole season. It has been called foul play, we get a penalty so it is clearly foul play, it is late and you have broken an international fly-half who is very important to our game.

"For me, that is the sanction of a yellow card and potentially more. A guy has had to leave the field because of that incident. I am allowed to talk to the officials. When a player of ours is potentially seriously injured I will talk to whoever I want."

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