Bath lock Elliott Stooke has been charged with drink driving following a road traffic incident that ultimately led to the revelation that he and two players breached the UK government covid-19 protocols – The Times are reporting.
Stooke and two other players – England centre Jonathan Joseph and Wasps’ Gabriel Oghre – were suspended yesterday by the RFU relating to the incident. All three had attended a multi-household gathering at Joseph’s house.
Joseph and Stooke also appeared before a Bath Rugby disciplinary panel on Tuesday 2 February, 2021; before Wednesday night’s independent hearing staged by the RFU.
There the players pleaded guilty to the charges and each apologised for socialising indoors with members of two different households.
According to Bath Rugby, Stooke drove another person in his car following the same gathering. The Times now report that Stooke then crashed the vehicle, which presumably lead it being revealed that the covid protocols had been broken. No other vehicle was involved in the incident.
Avon and Somerset Police confirmed to The Times the 27-year-old was charged with drink driving arising from the incident in the early hours of January 24. According to The Times, he is set to appear at Bath magistrates’ court on February 17.
Bath Rugby reported the incident to the RFU and “kept the RFU updated through the investigation and disciplinary process.”
The club did not mention the drink driving charge in their public statement released last night on the matter.
Stooke was called into the England Six Nations squad in 2019 but is yet to be capped.
Meanwhile, Wasps said on the matter: “Wasps are aware of a breach of Covid-19 regulations by one of our players, Gabriel Oghre. The club were extremely disappointed to learn of this incident, particularly as we regularly remind all players and staff about the latest protocols and their responsibility to set an example by adhering to them.
“A club investigation has already taken place and this matter has been dealt with internally.”
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