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After the varsity match between the University of Somewhere (UOS) v The University of Nowhere (UON) a complaint was made by the UON’s sports coordinator to their counterpart at the UOS as there had been complaints relating to crowd behaviour of the following:

  • Racism towards one of their players

  • Match official abuse, including that of a homophobic nature

  • Ableism towards one of their players

  • Aggression towards spectators

This complaint was forwarded to the BUCS Discipline Team by the sports coordinator of UOS and was in turn forwarded to the HE Rugby Disciplinary Group. The university carried out an internal investigation and recommended the following actions, which the club agreed to:

  • A review of the Rugby Club Code of Conduct, supported by the UOS, that aligns with the guidance and regulations of BUCS and SRFU.

  • A new Code of Conduct to be approved and signed by all committee members

  • All committee members elected for 2022/23 to attend Student Group Training

  • All committee members to complete the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion training session provided

  • All paid members of the club (2022/23) to complete the EDI training package

  • The Committee issue two letters of apology to the UON and the spectator

  • Both individuals given a final written warning about their conduct which was to last for a period of 12 months

Well within 28 days of the outcome of the investigation was sent to The RFU Head of Discipline by the sports coordinator of UOS. The Head of Discipline determined that given the seriousness of the allegations that a further RFU disciplinary charge would be appropriate. Two individuals, who were current and incumbent committee members, and the club were charged for a breach of RFU rule 5.12. A disciplinary hearing was held in turn. 

As all parties admitted to their fault the panel largely centred around sanction. The following sanction was delivered:



  • Suspension of all Men’s match day activity for a season - suspended for three years and only enacted if a further breach of Rule 5.12 occurs in the Men’s section of UOS

  • All committee members at the UOS to undertake an RFU Bystander Training course 

  • Requirement for men’s section of the club to complete 300 hours of voluntary work for the two following seasons


Individual 1

  • Suspension from the administration, spectating and playing of all rugby (not just UOS) for a period of 18 weeks


Individual 2

  • Suspension from the administration, spectating and playing of all rugby (not just UOS) for a period of 22 weeks.




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