Police launch investigation into alleged Sale end-of-season pub brawl

Sale are assisting a police investigation into allegations of a fracas involving a group of their players in a pub on Sunday.

Officers were called to the Kings Ransom pub in Sale town centre after reports of an altercation between bouncers and members of the club's squad, who were having an end-of-season celebration. They are now looking into claims of a possible assault.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: 'Shortly after 6pm on Sunday, May 9, police were called to the pub following reports of fighting. Officers attended the scene and found that a 43-year-old man had been punched in the face twice. Inquiries are on-going.'

Allegations: Police are investigated a reported fracas involving a group of Sale players in a pub

Allegations: Police are investigated a reported fracas involving a group of Sale players in a pub

While co-operating with the police, Sale have launched their own inquest. It is understood that chief executive James Jennings spoke to the players on Tuesday to establish the exact chain of events.

Witnesses have suggested that a group of around 20 players were in the pub - which is an official sponsor of the club - on Sunday evening.

According to reports, trouble flared when the large contingent were asked to tone down their noise and bad language, as families were close by.

One on-looker said: 'There had been some effing and jeffing, and a customer sitting near them asked them to stop, but he was told to shut up. Then the bouncers went over and had a word and it all kicked off. It really wasn't very pleasant and people were leaving.'

Banned: Wales international Andy Powell

Banned: Wales international Andy Powell

The RFU are waiting for the outcome of any inquiries before deciding whether to take action. But this latest ugly episode will do little for the game's image, a year after Bath were swamped by drugs-related scandal following a raucous end-of-season night out in London.

Earlier this season, Premier Rugby launched an alcohol awareness campaign and Wales No 8 Andy Powell was banished from the national squad after drunkenly driving a golf buggy down the hard shoulder of the M4.

England wing Chris Ashton is one of five nominees for the Guinness Premiership Player of the Year award, along with Northampton teammates Phil Dowson and Soane Tonga'uiha, plus Schalk Brits and Ernst Joubert of Saracens.

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