Probe into Euro cup ‘bust-up’

EPCR officials have launched an investigation into off-the-field incidents that happened after the match between Leinster and La Rochelle.

An alleged off-the-field Champions Cup final clash involving players and coaches from La Rochelle and Leinster has triggered an immediate investigation by EPCR officials.

The half-time row on Saturday allegedly involved La Rochelle’s director of rugby Ronan O’Gara, lock Will Skelton, as well as Leinster assistant coach Sean O’Brien and club captain Johnny Sexton.

Trailing 23-14 at the break, La Rochelle staged a stunning fightback to beat Leinster 27-26 and retain the Champions Cup.

The root of the confrontation at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin seemed to stem from a perceived lack of respect, as La Rochelle were livid at what they saw as a dismissive coin toss by Leinster captain James Ryan.

La Rochelle’s Champions Cup-winning captain Greg Alldritt and O’Gara accused Leinster of disrespect, culminating in a fiery tunnel skirmish.

In the aftermath, the injured Sexton was spotted reprimanding referee Jaco Peyper, pointing a finger at the South African whistle-blower.

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“EPCR is aware of reports of an incident at half time during the Champions Cup final at the Aviva Stadium and the tournament organiser will be investigating this as soon as practicable,” read a statement from competition organisers.

“We have no further comment at this time.”

Speaking during the post-match press conference, Alldritt highlighted the series of incidents that had annoyed his team, emphasising the importance of respect within their club’s values.

“There were several moments,” said Alldritt. “From the toss, already, we were not respected. He didn’t look me in the eye when he shook my hand. And that should not be done.”

O’Gara added: “Yeah, I got word of it down on the pitch. Obviously I have a close relationship with my captain. A bizarre action when they were going for the toss.”

“Normally you engage eyes and no eyes were engaged. Greg was disappointed and let down.”

La Rochelle also expressed their frustration over unmet requests for family accommodations and post-match functions.

Read original story on www.sarugbymag.co.za

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