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Cockerill has no case to answer

Richard Cockerill will not face disciplinary action over his post-match comments made following last Saturday's Aviva Premiership game between Leicester and Sale Sharks.

The Leicester rugby director spoke out immediately after the game at Welford Road when asked to comment on a series of reset scrums.

The Rugby Football Union have now confirmed there will be no action taken against the former England hooker, while Leicester issued a statement on Friday clarifying the context of Cockerill's remarks.

Speaking in his press conference immediately after Leicester's 30-23 victory, Cockerill said: "Sale were competitive, but when sides come to cheat and cheat and cheat... They were not engaging properly."

Leicester have now said there was no intent by Cockerill either to question the integrity of match referee Matthew Carley or Sale rugby director Steve Diamond.

Cockerill began the current campaign by serving a nine-week touchline ban imposed by the RFU for using obscene language towards fourth official Stuart Terheege during the Aviva Premiership final against Northampton at Twickenham last May.

In their statement, Leicester said: "In retrospect, and away from the heat of the moment immediately following a tense and important league fixture, Richard says he could have more accurately characterised his description of the incident as 'gamesmanship', and also that there was no intention to question the integrity of either the match referee or opposite number Steve Diamond, of Sale Sharks.

"Following the Aviva Premiership rugby match between Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks last Saturday, comments made in the post-match media conference received extensive coverage, and Richard Cockerill and the club feel it necessary to clarify the context of his remarks.

"Richard spoke in response to specific questions regarding events in the set of scrummages close to the Sale Sharks try-line which eventually led to the award of a penalty try to Leicester Tigers.

"He believed there was a deliberate attempt by the Sale front-row to not engage and/or withdraw from an engagement at the scrum in this phase of play, and in his view this was, potentially, an act of dangerous play and, therefore, potentially, a penalty offence and a yellow card.

"His comments about the referee were specific to that incident.

"Richard's view was that the match official, having previously refereed only seven Aviva Premiership fixtures, would not necessarily have come across this offence before."


From Belfast Telegraph