An incident took place at half-time between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens

The RFU has confirmed it is investigating a tunnel incident involving a player and a member of coaching staff during the Allianz Premier 15s semi-final between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens at Sandy Park on Sunday.

Exeter came from 14-0 down at half-time to win 24-21 thanks to a thrilling 78th-minute try from Eilidh Sinclair. Susie Appleby’s side will compete in their second successive Premier 15s final, after losing last year’s showpiece to Saracens, against league leaders Gloucester-Hartpury after they beat Bristol Bears 21-12 on Saturday.

Read more: New Premier 15s champion to be crowned

RFU investigating tunnel fracas: Statement

In a statement, the RFU said: “We are investigating reports of an alleged incident. Should a charge be brought, we will provide an update.” No disciplinary action was taken at the time.

The Telegraph reports that Saracens and England forward Poppy Cleall allegedly ‘headbutted’ Exeter Chiefs assistant coach Steve Salvin in the tunnel at the break, with the latter thought to have taken issue with Cleall’s attempt to speak to referee Charlie Gayther. Saracens women’s scrum coach and former Argentina prop Juan Figallo is also said to have been involved in the fracas.

Appearing to address the situation during an exchange on Twitter, Cleall wrote: “I will be taking this matter further, don’t worry. Very very very often you get behaviour like today. Will hear about it soon.”

Tries from Hannah Botterman and Sarah McKenna, both converted by Holly Aitchison put Sarries ahead before Exeter made a lightning fast start to the second half with Kate Zackary scoring after just 45 seconds.

Liz McGoverne’s penalty reduced the deficit to four points before Aitchison and England captain Marlie Packer were both sin-binned for deliberate knock-ons, reducing the visitors to 13.

A converted Hope Rogers try put Exeter in front for the first time but the defending champions battled back through England flyer Jess Breach only for Sinclair to win it at the death in front of a 4,000-strong crowd in Devon.

Saracens’ defeat means there will be a new name on the Allianz Premier 15s trophy this season as only Alex Austerberry’s side and Harlequins have previously won the competition.

The final will take place at Kingsholm on Saturday 24 June with Exeter hoping to go one better than last season while Gloucester-Hartpury will aim to convert their regular season dominance.

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