BREAKING: Sale Sharks handed points reduction for fielding ineligible player

Sale Sharks have received a five point deduction in the Premiership Rugby Cup for the inclusion of an ineligible player in the match squad for their Premiership Rugby Cup match against Wasps on 19 March.

They included new signing Alex Groves in their match squad after the player had appeared in a squad for Bristol, against the Cup rules.

The club accepted a charge and received a five point deduction, applicable for this season.

Panel chair, Philip Evans QC said: “Sale Sharks RFC came before an RFU Disciplinary Panel charged with a regulatory breach, which resulted from their inclusion of an ineligible player in the match squad for the Premiership Rugby Cup match against Wasps.

“The club indicated in advance of the hearing that it accepted the charge. The matter was then decided by the disciplinary panel on the basis of written submissions it had received, the club choosing not to exercise its right to an oral hearing.

“The RFU submitted the appropriate sanction for this breach would be a 5-point deduction because that would be in line with the minimum sanction that would be applied in other RFU competitions in the event that ineligible players are named in match squads.

“Sale sharks did not advance any alternative submissions and the panel agreed with the RFU’s reasoning. The sanction imposed will be a 5-point deduction from Sales Sharks in this competition.”

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