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'I'm absolutely over the moon I received an email that there is an enquiry going on'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Bristol boss Pat Lam has spoken about his delight that last Saturday’s touchline bust-up at Leicester has become the subject of an RFU investigation. Lam and his opposite number Steve Borthwick had a testy exchange near the end of the Gallagher Premiership match regarding the status of the replaced John Afoa.


With Bristol having had replacement tighthead Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro sin-binned, referee Ian Tempest sought out clarification on starting prop Afoa. Bristol boss Lam claimed he was injured, having been substituted at half-time, but the fourth official’s replacements card had recorded the change as tactical. 

Tempers frayed and the row only calmed down when Afoa decided to go on and take part in the game’s last scrum rather than allow the set-piece go uncontested which would have resulted in Bristol forfeiting another player. 

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Leicester boss Borthwick revisited the row at his weekly media session on Tuesday, saying: “It’s pretty clear what was being done, what was being said by people on the sideline. I am sure you have watched it, I’m sure you have heard it and I am sure whoever is investigating it will see it as well. 

“I don’t really need to comment on it and I’ll just crack on with trying to coach well and trying to do things in what is deemed to be the right way.”

Lam has his opportunity to respond when he hosted his weekly media session on Wednesday morning and he sounded very optimistic that Bristol have nothing to hide and will be vindicated by the RFU investigation. “I am absolutely over the moon that I received an email that there is an enquiry going on which is fantastic because it enables a true context and the full story. When you have an incident on the field – let’s say in our day there is a big scrap or a brawl, questions are asked why is this happening.


“Then the beauty of our great game is that it is then governed by the rules of rugby and also we have regulations for the competition so then you are able to refer back to that and we are able to give a full account, so at the moment that process is happening and as you can appreciate I can’t talk further until that happens. 

“I’m just really pleased that the full context comes out because what people see is part of a bigger picture and once that is gone through, a process, then the full picture will be explained and then people can make judgment… I’m looking forward for this process to happen, so until that happens and it is completed I can’t say too much more but I’m happy.”


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