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Chris Boyd and Harvey Biljon 'charged with prejudicial conduct'

By Kim Ekin

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Northampton boss Chris Boyd has been charged by the RFU following his recent criticism of referees, the same charge that had been laid down against Jersey Reds boss Harvey Biljon. Both coaches will now appear before an online disciplinary hearing panel on Thursday. 

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An RFU statement on Tuesday read: “Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd and Harvey Biljon, Jersey Reds’ director of rugby, will appear before a virtual independent disciplinary panel on Thursday, January 13, at 19.30.

“Both Boyd and Biljon are charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game contrary to RFU rule 5.12, relating to their comments on the match official following games. 

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“The charge against Harvey Biljon relates to the Jersey Reds game against Bedford Blues on Boxing Day. Chris Boyd’s charge relates to Northampton’s game against Saracens on January 2. Both cases will be heard by the independent disciplinary panel chaired by Martin Picton with Tom Gilbart and Rob Vickerman.”

Boyd had been called to account for criticising the performance of referee Adam Leal after Northampton’s defeat by Saracens earlier this month. The New Zealander had said referee Leal “didn’t have enough nuts, did he?” after failing to issue a yellow card against Mark McCall’s team during a series of scrums under the posts at a stage when the match was finely poised.

Even though Saints had been awarded successive penalties at the set-piece and Saracens had been warned, Leal opted to give the next infringement against the hosts, who went on to lose 30-6 on January 2. “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.

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The Tuesday confirmation that Boyd will have to attend a disciplinary hearing on Thursday was the latest development for him in a busy week where it was revealed on Monday that he 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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