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Tom Arscott sacked by Sale after investigation into alleged information leak

Tom Arscott has been sacked by Sale Sharks after he allegedly leaked information to Aviva Premiership rivals Bristol.

Sharks chief executive Jon Dorsett said in a brief statement that the decision followed a disciplinary investigation and hearing.

Arscott, 29, had been suspended by the club since January 4, three days after Bristol beat Sale 24-23 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Bristol said earlier this week that Arscott met his brother Luke - a Bristol player - at the club's hotel on New Year's Eve.

But the west country club also insisted that "nothing of any sporting value" was passed on to coaching staff and that they were "entirely confident we have not acted in a way that is against the spirit and values of rugby."

A complaint made by Sale relating "to the passing of information to the opposition team" is currently being investigated by the Rugby Football Union.

Dorsett said: "Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom Arscott with immediate effect following a disciplinary investigation and hearing.

"No further comment will be made in accordance with the club's disciplinary procedure."

Sale suspended wing Arscott, who joined the club from London Welsh in 2013, after his team-mates expressed concerns to the north-west club's director of rugby Steve Diamond.

When Diamond was questioned about the situation on Tuesday, he revealed that Arscott had been suspended.

"We investigated it internally and we are going through a disciplinary, and under the regulations, we have to report it (to the RFU), so we did that," Diamond said.

When then asked how disruptive it had been for the rest of his squad, Diamond, whose side have lost their last 10 matches in all competitions, added: "The squad are galvanised.

"They came to me with the problem. I knew nothing about it. And I reacted to that - senior players coming to me.

"The squad picked it up, came and saw me, asked what should be done, and we had to go down this route.

"I think if you do your own analysis, you probably don't need the information, because teams do the same most weeks.

"But in the same breath, I think there is an element of trust you need, and loyalty. And we will see where that's at.

"I think when you sign a professional contract, team information is sacrosanct to the team's performance and that can't be discussed, certainly with opposition teams. I think that is the top and bottom of it.

"I think it's worded (in contracts), words to that effect, that the passing of information is forbidden."

Neither Arscott brother played in the game, with Tom not included in Sale's 23-man squad and Luke an unused replacement in Bristol's.

In Bristol's statement, which was read out by head coach Mark Tainton at Tuesday's scheduled weekly press conference, the club said it was "entirely comfortable" they had done nothing wrong.

Tainton said: "From what we are aware, we are entirely comfortable that Bristol Rugby have done nothing wrong.

"Tom Arscott and Luke Arscott met on New Year's Eve at the team hotel, which is not unusual, for family living in different parts of the country to meet up.

"Following the conversation between the brothers, nothing was said or passed to the Bristol coaches of any sporting value, nor did it change the strategy in which we approached the game in any way, shape or form.

"As a club, we are entirely confident we have not acted in a way that is against the spirit and values of rugby.''

England Under-19 international Tom Arscott is a former Bristol player, and in addition to Sale and London Welsh, he also had spells with Worcester and his home-town club Plymouth.

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