Kyle Sinckler has been banned for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland after swearing at a referee.
The Bristol prop appeared before an online disciplinary hearing after cursing ‘Are you f****** serious?’ at match official Karl Dickson. His comments were in reaction to the referee’s decision not to penalise Exeter hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie for an alleged no-arms tackle.
He apologised for the outburst straight after the game, admitting on social media that it was ‘not the example I want to be setting’.
Kyle Sinckler will sit out England’s Six Nations clash against Scotland after picking up a ban
Sinckler contested the charge but he was handed a two-match ban, ruling him out of the next round of Premiership games and the opening weekend of the Six Nations.
The independent disciplinary panel said: ‘While Kyle Sinckler accepted that he used foul language at the referee, he did not accept the conduct warranted a red card.
‘The panel viewed the live recordings of the incident and were satisfied that his shout was aggressive and directed at the referee.
‘The panel found that as his actions disrespected the authority of the referee, it was in breach of a core value of rugby — respect of match officials — and warranted a red card. The panel determined that in all the circumstances it was a low entry point with no relevant mitigation. The sanction is a two-week ban.’
The prop had used foul language towards referee Karl Dickson in Bristol’s win over Exeter
Sinckler should return for the second-round Test against Italy, after Six Nations organisers yesterday confirmed the competition will go ahead as scheduled.
The women’s and Under 20 Championships have both been postponed, however the men’s competition will go ahead with a tightening of Covid protocols.
England winger Jack Nowell is now likely to miss most of the Championship, after Exeter boss Rob Baxter revealed he is still six weeks from full fitness after foot surgery.
‘He seems pretty sparky,’ said Baxter who also confirmed Joe Simmonds will be out for a month with an ankle ligament injury. ‘Jack is also a very professional “rehabber” and he always returns very well. If anything his most influential rugby is often when he does return from those difficult periods.’
Baxter, who initially supported bringing Premiership games forward to fill the gap left by a fortnight of cancelled European matches, now thinks a ‘circuit breaker’ is the right decision.
England coach Eddie Jones (R) will have Sinckler back for the second game against Italy
Premiership Rugby revealed yesterday there are 18 positive cases across the league at nine clubs — 13 players and five staff — having recorded 19 last week.
Exeter will continue to train, keeping internationals fit for the Six Nations, with strict Covid protocols in place at Sandy Park.
‘Looking at what is happening around the country, this break looks like a supportive measure,’ said Baxter. ‘Health isn’t just Covid —there are other ways you keep the pressure off the NHS. One of the big ones is avoiding illnesses, injuries and other issues.
‘The biggest thing we’re all hopeful for is that the vaccine roll-out will continue at great pace and things will start to improve as the most vulnerable start to get protected.
‘It’s difficult, isn’t it? At the moment we’re seeing a bounce that’s very negative, the good thing is we’re hopeful that in a month, six weeks the bounce will be the other way and we’ll start to see some very positive movement.’
BT Sport will now not show Saracens’ friendly this Saturday against Ealing Trailfinders — the broadcaster was very keen to air the game, but hit stumbling blocks when attempting to organise the event with the two clubs.
Sale are expected to confirm that Alex Sanderson, the Saracens defence coach, is their new boss this week after the departure of Steve Diamond.