Bristol Bears prop Kyle Sinckler has issued a Twitter apology after a comment he made to referee Karl Dickson during his side’s victory over Exeter Chiefs was widely criticised.

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Sinckler was heard asking referee Karl Dickson, a former Harlequins teammate, ‘are you ****ing serious?’ after Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie was penalised for a no-arms ram tackle that upended the England prop.

A video of the moment in question was tweeted by Andy Goode: “Really poor form by Kyle Sinckler screaming “Are you ****ing serious” at referee Karl Dickson. They are ex teammates but it should have been a yellow card. We berate footballers for similar so we don’t want this in rugby and should respect the ref!”

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Sinckler has now taken to the social media platform to issue an apology.

“Want to apologise for my reaction today,” Tweeted Sinckler. “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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His apology was rounded applauded by the rugby community. Former teammates Tim Visser even joking that fellow former Harlequins teammate Karl Dickson “does ask for it sometimes to be fair…”

“Great game Kyle. Totally get it. This is your health and career!,” wrote Ryan Kisiel.

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“Do you think professional players need more sympathy when it comes to swearing at refs?,” wrote David Flatman.

It didn’t stop Bristol recording a famous 20 – 7 win over the reigning champions, elevating them to the top of the Gallagher Premiership table. “Great win from the boys today. Full squad effort. Can’t wait for the fans to be back!. Hope that team performance put a smile on some faces today. Thanks for the support as always.”

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