Sale Sharks, centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg and his agent has admitted their guilt in at an RFU disciplinary hearing this week after the centre signed for two separate Premiership clubs in 2018.
All three parties have been fined and reprimanded over the circumstances of the case.
Sale Sharks have had five points deducted over the incident – although that punishment is suspended for two years. They were also fined £20,000.
Van Rensburg was fined £32,500; £25,000 of which will be given to Gloucester Rugby.
Proceedings at the hearing turned sour, where it was claimed Sale Sharks DoR Steve Diamond and club owner Simon Orange took a ‘combative approach’ to proceedings.
Diamond alleged in testimony that the agent in question, Matthew Ginvert, had come to an agreement with the RFU over his testimony and giving a statement. According to the judgement: “The implication of the comments made by Mr Diamond were that the proceedings were not fair, and that Mr Ginvert’s interests were being preferred so that the RFU could get at Sale.”
An RFU statement reads: “Van Rensburg was charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game contrary to RFU Rule 5.12 for signing playing contracts with two Premiership clubs – Gloucester Rugby and Sale Sharks.
“Sale Sharks were charged with breaches of RFU Regulation 7.5 (approaches to players) and Ginvert was charged with breaching RFU Regulation 8.5.2 (Registered agents must at all times observe the highest standards of fair dealing).
“The club, van Rensburg and Ginvert accepted the charges and the following sanctions were given by the independent disciplinary panel: Rohan Janse van Rensburg was given a two week suspension, the dates of which will be confirmed when more details of the playing calendar are available, and a fine of £32,500, of which £25,000 shall be paid on by the RFU to Gloucester to reflect an advance of monies paid by Gloucester to Mr Van Rensburg which has not been repaid.
“Sale Sharks were given a points deduction of 5 points suspended for two forthcoming seasons on terms that Sale does not act in breach of RFU Regulation 7 during that time and a fine of £20,000. The panel did not order compensation to be paid to Gloucester.
“Matthew Ginvert received a reprimand, a fine of £3,750 and was directed to undertake the agent’s education programme.”
In the written judgement, it noted: “There are disputes between the parties as to the circumstances surrounding the Player’s agreement to sign with Sale Sharks in January and June 2018, including, in particular, what the Club and MG (the agent) knew at the relevant times regarding the Player’s contract with Gloucester.”
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