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Cockerill's ban 'adjusted'

Tue, 30 Jul 2013 06:00
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Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill's nine-game ban, after his outburst at an official during the Premiership Final win last season, was upheld.

But the former England hooker's appeal did result in the dates being brought forward, to encompass two pre-season friendlies, according to a statement by the Rugby Football Union.

This followed an appeal hearing  in London on Monday.

On July 1, an original disciplinary panel found Cockerill guilty of using "obscene, inappropriate and unprofessional" words towards a match official during Leicester's 37-17 victory over Northampton in May.

Cockerill got himself into trouble after reacting to a tackle by Northampton Saints' Courtney Lawes on Leicester's Toby Flood.

He left his seat to discuss the incident with fourth official Stuart Terheege on the touchline.

Cockerill was banned until November 3, well into the new English season.

But while the length of his ban, in terms of matches, remains unaltered it will now run from August 24 through to October 18 - rather than September 7 to November 2.

The revised ban will include Leicester's pre-season friendlies with Jersey and Ulster and conclude after the European Cup tie against Italy's Treviso.

Cockerill's suspension means the novice coaching duo of Paul Burke and ex-Leicester captain Geordan Murphy will be in charge of the English champions at the start of the 2013/14 season.

Northampton and England hooker Dylan Hartley was sent off during the Premiership final for calling referee Wayne Barnes a "cheat" and, as a result of an ensuing 11-week ban, was dropped from the British and Irish Lions squad that went on to enjoy a Test series win in Australia without him.

The appeal against the sanction was heard by a panel consisting of Gareth Rees (chairman), Jeremy Summers and Julian Morris.

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