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Kyle Sinckler banned for F-bomb, will miss England's Six Nations opener

By Liam Heagney
England's Kyle Sinckler. (Photo by Dan Mullan/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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Bristol prop Kyle Sinckler has been banned for swearing at Gallagher Premiership referee Karl Dickson and will miss the start of England’s Six Nations campaign on February 6 at home to Scotland.


The Bristol prop appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel on Tuesday after being cited by independent citing commissioner Duncan Bell after his club’s 20-7 win at Exeter on Saturday took the Bears top of the Gallagher Premiership.

The 27-year-old was cited for “failing to respect the authority of the match official, contrary to World Rugby law 9.28″. Sinckler contested the charge but it was upheld by the independent disciplinary panel, comprising Richard Whittam (chair), with Becky Essex and Leon Lloyd, which gave the player a two-week suspension. He is free to play again on February 9.

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Ex-England hooker Brian Moore in conversation with Jim Hamilton
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Ex-England hooker Brian Moore in conversation with Jim Hamilton

The independent disciplinary panel said in its findings which were published on Wednesday: “Kyle Sinckler accepted that he used foul language at the referee. He did not accept the conduct warranted a red card.

“The panel viewed the live recordings of the incident and were satisfied that his shout of ‘are you fxxxxxx serious’ was:

  • Aggressive;
  • Was directed at the referee.  It followed almost immediately after the referee explained that he had determined that the Exeter player (Luke Cowan-Dickie) who had tackled Sinckler had attempted to wrap his arms. Sinckler turned his head towards the referee before he shouted at him;
  • On review with the TMO, the referee did penalise the player who had tackled him.

“The player was candid in his evidence as to why he had done so and regretted his actions.  The panel found that his actions disrespected the authority of the referee. It was in breach of a core value of rugby – respect of match officials – and warranted a red card.

“The panel determined that in all the circumstances it was a low entry point with no relevant mitigation.  The sanction is a two-week ban.”


Sinckler is due to now miss the following Gallagher Premiership games: Bristol vs Bath on January 29 and vs Sale on February 5. For the second weekend of the ban, it was decided he must miss the Sharks game unless he is picked by Eddie Jones, in which case he should miss the Scotland match.

Sinckler had taken to Twitter on Saturday following the comment he directed at the referee, saying: “Want to apologise for my reaction today. Not the example I want to be setting. Heat of the moment stuff. Will make a conscious effort to improve. My bad.”


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