Pat Lam has confirmed there will be an RFU inquiry into the controversial closing moments of Bristol Bears’ 26-23 victory over Leicester Tigers.
Director of rugby Lam and Leicester counterpart Steve Borthwick got into a heated exchange in the dugout when referee Ian Tempest approached Lam to clarify whether scrums would go to uncontested or not, as a result of a sin-bin to replacement tighthead Nahuel Chaparro.
With Leicester awarded a scrum five metres from Bristol’s line, Tempest asked Bristol Bears acting team manager Gethin Watts and Lam whether the substitution of starting tighthead John Afoa at half-time was for tactical or medical reasons.
Borthwick accused Lam of ‘lying’ as he said Afoa was injured only for the prop to retake the field moments later and then go on to play a pivotal role in the game-winning moment which saw Andy Uren steal the ball out the back of the 5m scrum and end the game.
Lam insists his only concern was for the health and safety of his 37-year-old veteran player who had been rushed back into action at less than 100 percent following a late failed fitness test by England international Kyle Sinckler on the morning of the game.
Discussing the pending RFU inquiry, Lam said: “I am absolutely over the moon that I received an email that there will be an inquiry going on, which is fantastic because it enables us to get the true context and the full story.
“When you have an incident on the field, back in our day that was a big scrap or a big brawl, questions were asked why is this happening.
“The beauty of our great game is it governed by the rules of rugby and then we have the regulations for the competition and we are able to refer back to them and get a full account.
“At the moment that process is happening and I can’t talk about it further at this time but I am really, really pleased the full context will come out because what people see is part of a bigger picture.
“Once we go through this process the full picture will be seen and then people can make a judgment.”
It has not yet been confirmed by the RFU when the inquiry will commence, or if it already has.