Monday 21 October 2019

Leinster rugby double probe: Academy player hospitalised and member of public 'urinated on' following Pro14 win

"The IRFU condemns, and is committed to eliminating, any anti-social behaviour within the game, at all levels, and continues to work closely with our colleagues in Rugby Players Ireland on education and awareness programmes for our players," the IRFU spokesman added. Stock picture
Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

The IRFU and Leinster are investigating two alleged incidents in the aftermath of the province's Guinness Pro14 title win last weekend which left an academy player hospitalised and another player the subject of widespread ridicule on social media.

"The IRFU is aware of alleged incidents involving two Leinster based players," a spokesman told the Sunday Independent. "While we are unable to comment specifically on these allegations we can confirm that we are liaising with Leinster Rugby to ascertain the facts around the incidents."

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In the first incident, on Saturday night/Sunday morning, a player from the Leinster Academy was taken to St Vincent's hospital where he underwent a brain scan after allegedly being knocked unconscious with a punch from a former Leinster player who is no longer employed by the province.

The player was treated at the scene by a Leinster doctor.

A Leinster spokesman confirmed that the player is recovering well and following the return to train protocols associated with concussion.

No charges were pressed and the alleged perpetrator subsequently attended an official function in the RDS to mark the 10th anniversary of the province's first Heineken Cup title win. The former player lives abroad and is understood to have returned home.

In the second alleged incident, last Sunday, a member of the public was urinated on by a Leinster player in a packed Dublin city centre pub where the squad were continuing their Pro14 celebrations.

"The IRFU condemns, and is committed to eliminating, any anti-social behaviour within the game, at all levels, and continues to work closely with our colleagues in Rugby Players Ireland on education and awareness programmes for our players," the IRFU spokesman added. Leinster Rugby had no comment to make other than to confirm they were liaising with the IRFU over the alleged incidents.

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Following the nine-week Belfast rape trial last year, in which Ireland and Ulster players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted, along with two others, the IRFU rolled out an education programme across the provinces. In conjunction with Rugby Players Ireland (RPI) the workshops covered a range of issues.

"We identified a number of additional programmes that could be added to the education curriculum, particularly in the areas of healthy behaviours and relationships and the decision making and awareness relating to these," the IRFU spokesman said last week.

"The programme has been undertaken by players in each province. This programme was delivered as part of a curriculum of mandatory IRFU/RPI workshops that also deal with gambling, social media usage, mental health and transition from the game. These workshops came as part of a wider Player Development Programme that promotes the personal development of players and their responsibilities as role models in society."

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