Thirteen days after their Champions Cup semi-final exit to Saracens, Munster have finally completed their investigation into the spectator who entered the Ricoh Arena playing field to confront Billy Vunipola.
The Saracens forward claimed he had been jolted by the incident that happened following the match when he and his team-mates did a lap walking around the pitch to acknowledge the supporters in the wake of the European match that was won by the London club. “It was quite scary,” he said at the time.
Vunipola was in the line of fire in the lead-up to the match following his reprimand by the RFU and by Saracens following his backing for the anti-gay social media post published by Israel Folau that has resulted in a code of conduct hearing in Sydney this Saturday for the Australian player.
Munster had initially issued a statement on April 21, the day after the match in Coventry, stating that they “will investigate the matter further”.
This followed a statement by the EPCR, the Champions Cup’s organising body. “EPCR does not condone the entry of a spectator to the field of play.
Statement | Munster Rugby have completed their investigation into the Champions Cup incident involving a spectator entering the field of play at the Ricoh Arena.
More details > https://t.co/clv8WvhQq3
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) May 3, 2019
“Following the regrettable incident at the Ricoh Arena, the spectator in question is currently being detained by the stadium authorities.”
Munster have now lived up to their promise to investigate the matter further, issuing a statement on May 3 that they will hope will bring an end to an unsavoury matter that has tarnished the reputation of their famed support.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) April 16, 2019
“Following further investigation into the incident involving a spectator entering the field of play at the Ricoh Arena the province can confirm that a decision has been made to prohibit the supporter from attending matches at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, in addition to the ban from the Ricoh Arena.
“The province wishes to reiterate it does not condone the entry of any spectator to the field of play. While it was hugely disappointing to see a supporter breach the stadium regulations, the behaviour of this one individual is not reflective of our supporters.”
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