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Sale Sharks coach Steve Diamond launches verbal attack on reporter after Gloucester win


Steve Diamond of Sale Sharls (Getty)

Steve Diamond of Sale Sharls (Getty)

Steve Diamond of Sale Sharls (Getty)

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond could face an investigation after confronting The Independent rugby journalist Sam Peters following the club's surprise victory over Gloucester on Saturday.

Diamond confronted Peters in the club's media centre immediately after the match, which Sale won 30-15. He requested Peters join him outside before snatching his Dictaphone and verbally abusing him.

Diamond should have been revelling in Sale's most impressive win of the season, but instead the 50-year-old wanted to confront Peters about a past Independent column that criticised his methods at Sale.

The piece was published in September and headlined: 'As Sale struggle for form, Steve Diamond continues to look out of touch with the modern game'. You can read the article here.

Diamond spoke at his normal post-match press conference, but took offence with Peters after he did not ask a question. Peters was not required to transcribe any of Diamond's quotes given that he had already written his match report.

Having confronted Peters, a foul-mouthed Diamond then asked Peters to join him outside the media centre. Peters made it clear that anything Diamond had to say to him could be said in front of the rest of the assembled media as well as Sale's director of communications Sam Diamond – Steve's son.

Again demanding that Peters follow him outside, the two left the room before Diamond grew increasingly angry and labelled the previous column "lies", before snatching Peters' Dictaphone out of his hand.

The incident came after Diamond again displayed the kind of aggressive, foul-mouthed behaviour during play that has earned himself the reputation that he so evidently disagrees with.

The Sale boss, who is also on the club's board of directors, could be heard swearing loudly at decisions made by the match officials during the 30-15 bonus-point victory over third-placed Gloucester, a result that takes the Salford-based club up to fifth in the Premiership table.

After a difficult start to the season, tries from Chris Ashton, Faf de Klerk, Rob Webber and Denny Solomona gave Sale their first win at Kingsholm since 2013, but Diamond's behaviour has overshadowed the result, not for the first time.

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Last season, Diamond was given a six-week stadium ban for conduct prejudicial to rugby after claiming referee Craig Maxwell-Keys "made decisions up" in Sale's defeat to Exeter.

"Well he was making it up, wasn't he?" Diamond had said. "The ref was making the decision up. There were 40 or 50 rucks that should have been penalised if that's a penalty. If you've got someone who is occasionally weak-minded, and it looked like that in the last two or three minutes, those people tend to give those decisions to what is perceived to be the stronger team."

In 2011, Diamond was handed a 12-week suspended ban after admitting a charge of pushing Northampton Saints performance director Nick Johnston and making inappropriate comments in a TV interview.

In 2012, Diamond was banned for 18 weeks for abusing match officials and, in 2016 he publicly criticised the player welfare driven Head Injury Assessment (HIA) in 2016 when he was forced to move scrum-half Mike Philips to the wing in the second half of a game after concussed fly half Dan Mugford had been removed by medics.

"All you need now is a slap on the head and they (medics) have you off the field for 13 minutes," Diamond said. "I don't know where we're going with it."

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