Saturday 29 April 2017

Sale star suspended over alleged leak of team information to Premiership rival

SALFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks gestures during the Aviva Premiership match between Sale Sharks and Harlequins at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
SALFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks gestures during the Aviva Premiership match between Sale Sharks and Harlequins at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Sale wing Tom Arscott has been suspended by his club over an alleged leak of information to Bristol that is being investigated by the Rugby Football Union.

It emerged on Monday the RFU was investigating a complaint made by Sale regarding the "passing of information to the opposition team" ahead of the Aviva Premiership match against Bristol at the AJ Bell Stadium on New Year's Day, which the hosts lost 24-23.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond on Tuesday revealed Arscott - a former Bristol player, whose brother Luke is currently part of the Ashton Gate outfit's squad - has been suspended over the matter since January 4, and the north west club are now awaiting further news from the RFU.

Diamond said: "We investigated it internally and we are going through a disciplinary, and under the regulations, we have to report it (to the RFU), so we did that yesterday.

"It's now in the hands of the RFU. He is suspended."

While he declined to discuss the specifics of the case, Diamond said he had not come across anything like it in his time in rugby.

And he added: "I think if you do your own analysis, you probably don't need the information, because teams do the same most weeks.

"But in the same breath, I think there's an element of trust you need, and loyalty. And we'll see where that's at.

"I think when you sign a professional contract, team information is sacrosanct to the team's performance and that can't be discussed, certainly with opposition teams.

"I think that is the top and bottom of it.

"I think it's worded (in contracts), words to that effect, that the passing of information is forbidden."

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