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STATEMENT: Sale respond to Denny Solomona ban

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

Sale Sharks have voiced their displeasure at the four-week ban handed to Denny Solomona by the RFU for verbally abusing Worcester fly-half Jamie Shillcock.

The England wing denied using homophobic language towards Shillcock during the Premiership match between Sale and Worcester on March 24, but last Thursday was found guilty by an RFU disciplinary panel for conduct predjudicial to the interests of the union or the game.

After four days of ‘serious consideration’, Sale confirmed why they would not be seeking to appeal the ban.

“Sale Sharks are very disappointed following yesterday’s full release of the RFU disciplinary judgement regarding Denny Solomona’s four-week ban for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game,” a club statement read.

“The club believes Denny, he is a decent and honest person and maintains that no homophobic words were exchanged during the Aviva Premiership match against Worcester Warriors on March 24th.

“The RFU disciplinary panel decided, on the balance of probability but with absolutely no other evidence, that Denny had said those words based on Jamie Shillcock’s reaction only. They also did not believe that Mr Shillcock had sought out Denny after the game and apologised to him.

“After serious consideration, Sale Sharks have come to the conclusion that there are significant risks as well as legal and financial hurdles in pursuing an appeal.

“As a consequence, Sale Sharks do not believe that it is in the interests of either Denny, the club or the game of rugby union to prolong this sad affair.”

Solomona, capped twice by Eddie Jones, will miss all of Sale’s remaining Premiership fixtures this season against Newcastle, Exeter and Leicester.

The three-person panel which delivered the the suspension said last Thursday: “The comments were offensive and have no place on the rugby field. However, the panel accepted that they were said in the heat of the moment, rather than premeditated.

“For these reasons, the panel deemed it was a low-end entry point, which carries a six-week suspension as a starting point.

“The player did not accept the charge but all other mitigating features were present. The panel therefore reduced the sanction to four weeks.

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