SEVERAL members of the coaching and backroom staff for the Scotland Under-20s team have been suspended pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary investigation after a late-night incident in Llandudno, North Wales, less than 48 hours before the team kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a 36-3 defeat to Wales on Friday 2nd February.
The incident resulted in one of the group being hospitalised with injuries believed to include broken ribs. A local man has been arrested under suspicion of ‘wounding’. There is no suggestion that any Scottish rugby personnel were the instigators of the incident.
A Scottish rugby spokesman was not prepared to confirm the number of individuals under investigation, but it is understood that those suspended include assistant coaches Ben Fisher and Nikki Walker plus team manager Andy Miller, although they were not the victims of the assault. Head coach Stevie Scott was not involved.
Former Glasgow Warriors full-back Peter Murchie and Scotland Under-18 head coach Iain Monaghan have been brought in to assist Scott with coaching the side.
The young Scots suffered a heavy 19-69 defeat in their second Six Nations outing against France at Broadwood last Friday night. Their next match is against England at Myreside a week on Friday [23rd February].
“Scottish Rugby is currently conducting an internal disciplinary process involving members of the Scotland U20s coaching team and backroom staff. The group are suspended until the disciplinary process has concluded and in the interim their roles will be taken on by appropriate staff. Scottish Rugby will make no further comment at this time,” said a statement issued by the Scottish Rugby Union.
North Wales police confirmed that a 30-year-old man was arrested under suspicion of wounding and has been released under investigation following an assault in Llandudno at around 3.20am on the Thursday 1st February.
French players sanctioned after night out in Edinburgh
Meanwhile, France have dropped several players from their squad to play Italy in their next Six Nations match as punishment for going out in Edinburgh on Sunday evening following their defeat to Scotland that afternoon.
“Jacques Brunel has decided to exclude from that list the players who went out after the defeat in Scotland. With this inappropriate behaviour, they failed to respect their duty as international players,” said a statement issued by the FFR [the French Rugby Federation].
The FFR did not name the players sanctioned. However, Alexandre Lapandry, Arthur Iturria, Sekou Macalou, Anthony Belleau, Felix Lambey, Jonathan Danty, Remi Lamerat, Louis Picamoles and Teddy Thomas – who scored two tries against Scotland – do not feature in the 32-man squad for the game on 23 February in Marseille.