"Embarrassing" - Jack Nowell handed HUGE fine for online comments - Ruck

“Embarrassing” – Jack Nowell handed HUGE fine for online comments

On April 19 2023, Exeter Chiefs winger Jack Nowell appeared before an independent disciplinary panel charged with committing conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game with the tweet he posted during the match between Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs on Sunday, April 16 2023.

The panel was chaired by Matthew O’Grady joined by Martyn Wood and Guy Lovgreen.

Nowell accepted his conduct was prejudicial to the interests of the game and he was fined £10,000 and directed to undertake a referees’ course. The panel directed the fine be paid to charity.

O’Grady remarked: “Debate about on-field decisions by players and officials is an inevitable part of rugby union and professional rugby players have the right to express themselves about the sport they play. However, they are not free from the consequences of such expression when it breaches their professional obligation not to act prejudicially to the interests of the game by disrespecting match officials, their decisions and their authority – not least when that expression contributes to a ‘pile on’ of public comment about a match official or match officials.

“Respect for match officials – even if we disagree with their decisions, indeed especially if we disagree with their decisions – is a core part of rugby union. It is not a value that we can turn on and off when we choose.

“Mr Nowell accepted his tweet, which was viewed many hundreds of thousands of times, was not fair comment and crossed the line of what is acceptable by a person with his considerable status in the game.”

Further information of the sanction imposed by the panel will be detailed in the panel’s written judgment which will be available shortly.

World Rugby has confirmed that professional match official, Karl Dickson, correctly applied the Law during the Leicester Tigers versus Exeter Chiefs game which saw the penalty try and a yellow card awarded. Law 13.4 is clear that players cannot fall on or over players on the ground and tackle law 14.8 says arriving players at a tackle must come from the direction of their own goalline and stay on their feet.


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