Diamond charged by RFU

Diamond charged by RFU
By PA Sport

13/01/2012 at 00:41Updated 13/01/2012 at 01:01

Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has been charged by the Rugby Football Union with two counts of verbally abusing match officials.

The Sharks' executive director of sport is due to appear at an RFU disciplinary hearing in Stafford next Tuesday night.

Diamond is alleged to have verbally abused referee Wayne Barnes and assistant referees Rhys Davies and Gareth Copsey at the end of last Sunday's Aviva Premiership game between Sale and London Irish at the Madejski Stadium.

The RFU said Diamond had been charged under its rule 5.12, which covers "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or game".

Diamond, who will take on the role of Sale chief executive next month, could face a touchline ban and possible fine should the case go against him.

In October last year, he admitted two misconduct charges relating to him pushing Northampton fitness coach Nick Johnson during a touchline incident in a Premiership game at Edgeley Park.

He was given a 12-week RFU suspension, suspended until May next year, with £4,000 of a £5,000 fine also suspended. The ban covered the field of play and technical area, and also prevented Diamond from communicating directly with match officials during a game.

Sale lost the game 21-19 to Irish after Barnes awarded the Exiles a late penalty for a Sale scrum offence that was kicked by Adrian Jarvis and edged the home side to victory.

"I'm not whinging, but if the referee is going to make his interpretations, let it be consistent. That is what we are after," Diamond told reporters after the match. "It is hard to take when such a crucial decision is made like that.

"He (Barnes) has to be 100% right that we wheeled the scrum. He ought to come to a coaching session and see that the wheel went out of the game 10 years ago."