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'Unacceptable' - Kyle Sinckler slammed after audio picks up comment directed at referee Karl Dickson

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Referee Karl Dickson and Kyle Sinckler (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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A foul-mouthed remark made by Bristol Bears prop Kyle Sinckler to referee Karl Dickson during their clash with Exeter hasn’t gone unnoticed on Twitter, with fans calling out the England forward for stepping over the line.


Sinckler was cut down by a no-arms ‘daisycutter’ tackle from Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie early in the second half at Sandy Park, who dived headfirst at the prop’s legs. It was a clumsy effort by Cowan-Dickie and Sinckler was understandably miffed.

However, his comment to referee Dickson directly after the tackle, didn’t help his case.

Audio picked up Sinckler asking Dickson: ‘Are you ****ing serious?’ Dickson told the Lions tighthead that the ‘language you used is unacceptable’ but took no further action against him.  While it should be pointed out that Dickson is a former Harlequins teammate, many felt Sinckler had traversed the invisible line of rugby respect and felt he should have been red-carded.

“How does Kyle Sinckler swear at the referee and get away with it. Hardly in keeping with so-called core values,” said well-known rugby journo Neil Fissler.

“I never swore at the referee,” noted infamous swearer Brian Moore in reply to a post by David Flatman.


“I’m a big fan of Karl Dickson but he should have binned Sinckler for screaming at him like that. Failing that, the pen should be reversed,” said one poster. There were many more in that vein.


Others felt the dangerous tackle on Sinckler, which Dickson adjudged not to have been worth a yellow card, was more egregious than Sinckler’s fruity language. “More fans are upset by Sinckler’s language than a dangerous tackle.”

Sinckler was infamously described in 2019 as ‘an emotional timebomb’ by then Wales coach Warren Gatland, but the consensus is that the former Harlequin has reined in much of his more hot-headed tendencies in the last two years. It seems he might still have a little way to go yet.


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