Leicester consider Cockerill appeal
July 5, 2013
Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has paid for his outburst during his side's Premiership final victory over Northampton © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers are considering appealing the nine-match ban handed down to director of rugby Richard Cockerill earlier this week.
Cockerill was hit with the lengthy suspension after being found guilty of "unprofessional and inappropriate" behaviour and for using "obscene" language in an altercation with fourth official Stuart Terheege during the Aviva Premiership final on May 25. Cockerill left his seat in the stands to berate officials after Northampton lock Courtney Lawes escaped a yellow card for what he thought was a late tackle on Leicester fly-half Toby Flood. Lawes was penalised but not shown any card while Flood was later forced out of the game with concussion.
The Premiership champions are digesting the full written judgement that is scathing in its conclusion with Cockerill accused of lacking rugby's core values of "respect, discipline and sportsmanship
According to the disciplinary panel, Cockerill said "words to the effect that he would be telling his players at half time to 'smash the c***s because they aren't getting any protection'."
Cockerill insisted that he would not have actually issued any such instruction to his players and admitted regret over the language he used but the report concluded it to be "an insidious and petulant act intended to threaten match officials into altering the way they officiated". Cockerill was also slammed for his "perceived lack of contrition, apology or acceptance that he had done anything wrong".
The report concluded: "Giving evidence Mr Cockerill maintained that the use of the words "f***" and "f*****g" were justified in the circumstances.
"He also maintained that players who swear at referees need not be sent off or disciplined. His use of swear words which he did not deny did not, he maintained, make his actions aggressive, obscene, inappropriate or unprofessional.
"Certain of the game's core values, namely respect, discipline and sportsmanship, seem to us to have passed Mr Cockerill by.
"He does not seem to appreciate the corrosive effect of his behaviour upon players, medical staff and other coaches with its attendant loss of moral authority, nor the effect of his behaviour upon the viewing public and the press."
Leicester have since criticised the RFU's handling of the case. "There are elements of the way in which they have conducted this case which, in our opinion, calls into question the new disciplinary structure and we will be taking this up with the RFU at the earliest opportunity," the club said in a statement.
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