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Dan Biggar verbal altercation with fan: 'I hope he gets hammered for it'

By Ian Cameron
Dan Biggar (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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A verbal altercation between Dan Biggar and a fan during Northampton Saints’ Challenge Cup game with Gloucester at the weekend has become a talking point online.

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Biggar had been dismissed by referee Sam Grove-White for a dangerous tackle on Lions teammate and Gloucester centre Chris Harris, but the action really kicked off when he made it to the sideline. Abuse was hurled at the Wales international after he left the field following the red card in the 51st minute.

It’s not entirely clear which side the fan hurling the abuse was supporting. The online consensus suggests it was a Saints fan involved in the incident, although others have suggested a Gloucester was removed from the stadium.

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The incident might not have been picked up but for a blog post written this week written by Ashley Tuala. The wife of Northampton Saints player Ahsee Tuala writes that Biggar was subjected to ‘disgusting’ abuse as he left the field from a supporter in Kingsholm.

“Now as he was walking off the field a particular person from the crowd was literally just hailing a whole lot of abusive words to him directly.

“The player bit back and returned some words. Now here is the funny yet sticky part, the person in the crowd yelled back because the player was saying things back to him that he was being unprofessional and that he shouldn’t be saying things back because he is who he is.

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“The stewards were then seen trying to calm the situation down. The player was then heard saying I’m not going to sit here and allow someone to verbally abuse me.”

Tuala also alleges that homophobic slurs were also directed at personnel at the game.

“I must mention people from the crowd had also been heard throughout the game verbally abusing and saying some pretty disgusting things towards not only players but also members of the staff, like you’re fat and also using the disgusting word ‘you’re a F****T’.

“In no way, shape or form am I only pinning this verbal abuse on one particular team’s home crowd whatsoever this is only a mere example of the type of abuse that can be heard during a match.”

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In the end, Biggar copped a three week ban for the red card offence, while there doesn’t appear to be any official consequences for the ‘fan’ who launched the tirade at the veteran flyhalf.

Some believe incidents such as this one – admittedly commonplace in other sports – are creeping into rugby union, a sport where such behavior from crowd members has traditionally been frowned upon.

Biggar was defended today by David Flatman, the former England prop writing in his RugbyPass+ column this week that he hopes the fan in question gets his comeuppance.

“Perhaps paying for a ticket makes some folks feel like they have a right – a level of ownership – to do what they want. But compare the £50 a punter pays to the graft and sacrifice that goes into the average week of a professional player in the week leading into a match,” wrote Flatman.

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“Fans don’t all have to be cheerleaders; they don’t need to smile and laugh every minute they spend in the ground, but they need to not insult players from a distance and expect to get away with it. Personally I’m glad Dan Biggar stuck up for himself, and I hope the gobs***e who shouted all those awful things at him gets hammered for it.”

 

 

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