Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Mitchell receives written warning

Craig Mitchell could be sacked by Exeter if he finds himself in hot water again

Wales prop Craig Mitchell has been issued with a written warning by Exeter after he was convicted of aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm for punching a lawyer in a Brisbane bar last week.

An internal disciplinary hearing, conducted by Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe and head coach Rob Baxter, found Mitchell guilty of bringing both the club and the sport into disrepute.

The Chiefs decided the six month suspended sentence and £1,100 fine imposed by the Australian authorities was punishment enough, but Mitchell has effectively been placed on parole by the club.

The 27-year-old has been told that if he is found guilty of a similar incident over the next six months then he could be sacked.

A club statement said: "Exeter Rugby Club chief executive Tony Rowe OBE, together with head coach Rob Baxter, have reviewed closely CCTV footage and discussed in depth the incident involving first-team squad member Craig Mitchell.

"Following this review process, the club have found Craig Mitchell guilty of bringing not only the club, but also the game of rugby union, into disrepute.

"The club feel the six-month suspended sentence, together with the fine imposed on the player by the Australian authorities, is sufficient punishment.

"However, Craig Mitchell has been given a written warning by the club that should he transgress in a similar way over the next six months, then his contract with Exeter Rugby Club could be terminated at the club's discretion.

"The club once again re-iterates its previous stance that it does not condone law breaking of any kind and will continue to stress with all of its employees the importance of acting as positive ambassadors - even in difficult and unwanted circumstances."

The club statement added that Mitchell "wished to express his remorse not only to the victim (Cian Barry) and those involved in the incident, but also to Exeter Rugby Club, the Welsh Rugby Union and his family".

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