Homophobic abuse investigation

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Following the RFU’s investigations into the allegation of homophobic abuse aimed at referee Nigel Owens at the QBE International against New Zealand, two people have received a ban from all matches at Twickenham Stadium for a period of two years. In addition, they will pay £1,000 each to a charity of Nigel Owens’ choice. There is a second investigation still ongoing.

RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said: “While instances of this nature are exceptionally rare, the RFU takes rugby’s values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship very seriously, and is determined to uphold them. We are all guardians of these aspects of the game, on and off the pitch, and it is these values which make the sport special.”

The RFU will continue to underline what is expected of supporters. At international matches the RFU will put messaging in the programme, in every ticket pack, on mid-tier LED boards and big screens throughout match day. This season a new confidential text service (Text HELP to 60886) is available to report any anti-social or discriminatory behaviour at the stadium. There are 850 stewards on hand to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans.