ben youngsFive players from the Otahuhu Rugby Club have each received a lifetime ban from all rugby.

A judicial hearing was called following the assault on a referee at the conclusion of a match between the Otahuhu U19 versus Suburbs U19 teams on Saturday 6th August.

The panel considered evidence from several parties including video footage of the incident in which the referee sustained injuries.

The penalties were from the more serious category of the NZRU Disciplinary Rules. Those guidelines also state that clubs are responsible and accountable for the conduct of their players and all persons under their jurisdiction, therefore sanctions have also been imposed on the club and the team coach.

Auckland Rugby Union chairman Glenn Wahlstrom endorses the decision of the independent judicial committee.

“The judicial committee has given a very strong message and rightly so. Match officials must have the right to be safe in the role they perform without being subjected to the threat or even worse, acts of violence.”

The club has the right to appeal the decision within seven days of its Issue therefore it is not appropriate to make any further comment during this window.

The matter is also with the police.

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