Saints boss Boyd hit with two-game ban for referee comments

Chris BoydChris Boyd
Chris Boyd
Saints boss Chris Boyd has been hit with a two-game matchday ban by the RFU for comments made about referee Adam Leal following the defeat to Saracens earlier this month.

Boyd was unhappy with Leal's refereeing of the scrum and was quoted as saying Leal 'didn’t have enough nuts, did he?’.

Boyd added: "I mean it was a clear hinge. There was only one side under pressure in that series of scrums.”

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That led to the Saints boss being charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game contrary to RFU Rule 5.1.

He had to appear before a virtual independent disciplinary panel on Thursday evening and was given a two-match suspension from all matchday coaching duties.

That means Boyd will miss Sunday's Champions Cup clash with Ulster at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens as well as the trip to Racing 92 a week later.

The 63-year-old is suspended from all matchday coaching duties, meaning he can only attend as a spectator.

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Panel chair Martin Picton said: “Chris Boyd accepted the charge.

"The panel concluded that the offence was to be dealt with as one amounting to disrespect of the authority of a match official and rejected the submission that the words spoken by Chris Boyd should be categorised as verbal abuse of the referee.

“The panel, however, took the view that as a case of disrespect it should be placed within the mid-range entry point given the nature of the words used, the number of journalists present, the inevitability that the remark made by Mr Boyd would be widely reported, the potential impact on the referee and his standing in the rugby community coupled with the importance of maintaining the core values of the game.

“The panel did, however, consider that Mr Boyd was entitled to the full available mitigation in the light of his acceptance of the charge, his obvious and genuine regret at his choice of words coupled with his apology expressed directly to the referee in question even before the potential for a misconduct charge had been raised, the impressive character material submitted in support and his impeccable discipline record.

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“The result was that the panel imposed a two-match suspension from all match day coaching duties (meaning he can only attend as a spectator), but also directed that Mr Boyd should present to the playing and non-playing members of the club on the topic of the need for respect for match officials and that he should undertake a second presentation to a school or local rugby club of his choice so as to get the same message out at a grassroots level.”

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