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Leicester Tigers, Bristol Bears players avoid disciplinary action for mass Gallagher Premiership brawl

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Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership contest between Leicester and Bristol descended into a mass brawl after the Bears had claimed John Afoa was injured and could not return after the sin-binning of prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, before Afoa did return to help the Bears win the match.

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All Bristol and Leicester players have avoided sanction following a brawl at full-time on Saturday

All Bristol and Leicester players have avoided sanction following a brawl at full-time on Saturday

Players involved in the mass brawl that marred the end of Leicester’s Gallagher Premiership defeat by Bristol on Saturday have avoided disciplinary action.

Tigers prop Ellis Genge and Bears No 8 Nathan Hughes were involved in one flashpoint as tempers flared at the climax of a fractious Mattioli Woods Welford Road showdown.

The final whistle also saw Leicester’s Richard Wigglesworth and John Afoa of Bristol tussle around the left corner flag, resulting in players from both sides running in.

However, the citing officer has declined to trigger disciplinary proceedings due to no offences reaching the threshold of a red card.

The Rugby Football Union is still looking into the contentious ending that saw Tigers boss Steve Borthwick accuse opposite number Pat Lam of lying during a heated touchline disagreement.

Scenes turned ugly on the sidelines at Welford Road as Bristol's Pat Lam claimed John Afoa was injured, before Afoa did eventually return to help the Bears see out victory Scenes turned ugly on the sidelines at Welford Road as Bristol’s Pat Lam claimed John Afoa was injured, before Afoa did eventually return to help the Bears see out victory

The argument centred on whether Afoa, who had been substituted earlier, was fit to return to the field after fellow Bristol prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro picked up a late yellow card for repeated team infringements at the scrum.

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Afoa’s half-time withdrawal had been recorded as tactical, but Lam claimed the player was injured and therefore unable to go back on. Having been reduced to 14 after scrum infringements, the outcome had Afoa not returned was for Bristol to lose a further man in the back-field due to the yellow card having caused uncontested scrums.

It was at this point that Afoa then did return to the field of play, despite Bristol’s Lam claiming he was injured.

Borthwick was recorded on pitchside microphones saying: “Pat you just said he was injured. Don’t lie Pat, don’t lie. Just don’t lie.”

At the time, Lam is heard to have responded: “I’m not lying Steve, I don’t lie.”

Northampton’s lock David Ribbans will play no part in England’s summer series against the United States and Canada after receiving a three-week ban for a dangerous tackle.

Ribbans was sent off in the first half of Saturday’s defeat by Exeter and, after accepting the charge against him from the judicial officer, he was suspended until September 21.

With Northampton’s season ending this weekend, the ban carries over into the 2021-22 campaign, meaning he is unavailable to win his first cap in England’s July appointments.

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