By Ali Stokes
Gloucester Rugby CEO Stephen Vaughan has hit out at the RFU following news earlier today that the national governing board have charged Gloucester and England fly-half Danny Cipriani with 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game'. Which is contrary to RFU Rule 5.12. This comes following an incident in Jersey on Wednesday, resulting in the 30-year-old being fined £2000 by Magistrates for assault and resisting arrest and ordered to pay £250 compensation to an on-scene officer that suffered bruising.
RFU Head of Discipline David Barnes said: “We have high standards that we expect across the game, in line with rugby’s core values, from all those involved within it. I have this afternoon taken the decision to charge Danny Cipriani.”
20-minutes after the RFU's press email was released, Vaughan voiced the club's displeasure.
“We are surprised and extremely disappointed to have recently received notification of disciplinary action against Danny Cipriani by the RFU.
Vaughan continued: “Yesterday afternoon I received a personal assurance from the RFU that no disciplinary discussions would take place until we had completed our own conversations as stated in our club release.
“With the team in Belfast for tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Ulster, we had indicated that this would be carried out early next week following the team’s return.
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“There is no historic precedent of a player being singled out in this manner, and we feel that this disciplinary process has been influenced by the significant media coverage of this week’s events and other external factors and not based on the actual facts of the matter.
“In summary, we do not agree with the RFU’s decision to embark upon a disciplinary process before we have concluded our own internal discussions and fail to understand the reasons for this approach.
“We do not believe that this decision and the subsequent unnecessary public attention that will now follow it is in the best interests of either the RFU, the club, the player nor the game in general.”
A date for Cipriani's disciplinary hearing is yet to be decided.
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