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Saints boss in hot water for ref criticism

DISCIPLINARY NEWS: Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd is set to face a disciplinary hearing for criticising the performance of referee Adam Leal in his team’s loss to Saracens.


Boyd said referee Leal “didn’t have enough nuts” to award a penalty at a crucial stage in his side’s 6-30 Premiership loss to Saracens.

Saints dominated the first-half at Franklin’s Gardens and were camped in the 22 for an extended period, opting for three successive scrums under the posts as Saracens repeatedly infringed.

But on the third scrum Leal awarded the penalty against Northampton, allowing the visitors to escape and leaving Boyd frustrated.

“He didn’t have enough nuts did he? I mean it was a clear hinge. There was only one side under pressure in that series of scrums,” Boyd said after the match.

“But anyway. I certainly think we took the right option. We could have taken three points there but we spent a long time down there. For us to come away with three points would have been a victory for them.”

The New Zealander’s comments did not go unnoticed by RFU.


Consequently, he will appear before a virtual independent disciplinary hearing on Thursday for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game, contrary to Rugby Football Union rule 5.12.

Although no sanction table exists for the charge, a wide range of punishments are available to the three-strong panel that include fines and matchday bans.

The case will be heard by the independent disciplinary panel chaired by Martin Picton with Tom Gilbart and Rob Vickerman.

Earlier this week it was revealed Boyd is to leave Northampton at the end of his fourth season in charge, with current assistant Phil Dowson tipped to take over as the director of rugby.


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