Petulant Sexton slapped with 'misconduct' letter and possible ban
NEWS UPDATE: Ireland captain Johnny Sexton could miss a substantial portion of his country’s build-up to the World Cup.
The Irish media are reporting that Sexton and Leinster have been slapped with a misconduct letter by European Professional Club Rugby for his conduct towards match officials after the European Cup Final last month.
The London-based City AM publication first reported the news, which Irish outlets extra.ie, joe.ie, balls.ie and independent.ie also carrying the reports.
This follows the announcement by EPCR officials that they have launched an investigation into an alleged half-time tunnel bust-up during the Champions Cup Final between Leinster and La Rochelle in Dublin.
According to the Irish Independent, coaches and players from both teams were involved in the incident at half-time.
The report revealed that Leinster assistant coach Sean O’Brien and club captain Johnny Sexton were involved.
La Rochelle coach Ronan O’Gara and lock Will Skelton are believed to be the other participants.
The governing body released a short statement regarding the incident, saying: “EPCR is aware of reports of an incident at half-time during the Champions Cup Final and the tournament organiser will be investigating this as soon as practicable.
“We have no further comment at this time.”
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At the time the EPRC statement made no mention of Sexton’s post-match altercation with the match officials – South Africa’s Jaco Peyper, as well as the English duo of Karl Dickson and Christophe Ridley.
Video footage clearly shows the injured Leinster captain, in a suit, approaching the match officials to share some thoughts.
Sexton now faces the prospect of missing World Cup warm-up matches – perhaps even some games in the tournament – should the EPCR decide to slap him with a severe punishment.
City AM reported that Sexton stands accused of three counts of misconduct and has received a letter from the EPCR stating as such.
He is ‘alleged to have mouthed obscenities towards the three on-pitch officials’ – Peyper, Dickson and Ridley.
Sexton, who missed the game due to injury, is reported to have allegedly told them that they were a “disgrace” and he also used expletives.
The match officials were reportedly asked for witness statements and described Sexton’s behaviour as intimidating.
Leinster received the misconduct letter last week and will now have to respond to the allegations.
After the whistle went Sexton changes direction to approach the refereeing group. Dicko sees him coming and tries to block him but Johny won’t be stopped from having at least a say pic.twitter.com/ij6Sl8J4Fl
— Province Fan (@ProvinceFan) May 29, 2023