Fearns and Henson fined following bar fracas
July 12, 2013
England Saxons back-row Carl Fearns has been fined for his part in the altercation © Getty Images
Henson, 31, was floored by a punch from Fearns, 24, at the Pig and Fiddle pub in Bath on Wednesday night. Eye witnesses suggested that Henson confronted his team-mate having been goaded about his reality TV appearances and was subsequently left slumped on the floor.
Police were called but not despatched to the establishment and the club later admitted a 'minor incident' had taken place before launching an investigation. That inquiry has now found both players of 'totally unacceptable' behaviour with the Premiership club now keen to draw a line under the incident and focus on the new season.
However, Fearns faces further punishment as a current member of the England Saxons squad. He has been called to a meeting with team management at Twickenham concerning his future conduct.
Bath Rugby CEO Nick Blofeld said: "The behaviour of some of the players was totally unacceptable and not what we expect from them. The two players involved have taken full responsibility for their actions and they have both received written warnings and fines, and we regard the case as now closed. We want to see the squad focussed on pre-season training, the forthcoming 7s and friendlies, and then delivering on the pitch this season."
On behalf of the playing squad, experienced lock Stuart Hooper added: "We would like to apologise as a group. Clearly what happened last week was inappropriate and there is a collective will amongst the players to put that right and not set such a poor example again."
The duo are no strangers to off-field controversy having both been involved in previous headline-grabbing incidents. Twice a Grand Slam winner with Wales and a British & Irish Lions international in New Zealand eight years ago, Henson was forced to apologise for comments regarding his team-mates following the publication of his autobiography in 2005.
Henson also saw a stint with French side Toulon brought to a premature end following an altercation with two team-mates in a nightclub. Most recently he was sacked by the Cardiff Blues following an alcohol-related incident on a flight back from Scotland. He later apologised for drinking and "behaving inappropriately" but it was not enough to save him from being dismissed.
Fearns, a former International Rugby Board Junior Player of the Year nominee, and his then Sale team-mate Anitelea Tuilagi were among four men arrested following a nightclub brawl in 2010 when the two players reportedly grappled with up to 10 bouncers. None of the four were prosecuted due to a lack of evidence.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin