Hughes could be in hot wa­ter af­ter ‘joke’ tweet

Western Daily Press - - Rugby -

NATHAN Hughes’ mys­te­ri­ously aborted disciplinary hear­ing took a fresh twist when it emerged that the num­ber eight had tweeted “What a joke” upon learn­ing the ver­dict.

A three-man panel con­vened in Coven­try on Wed­nes­day night to in­ves­ti­gate his cit­ing for punch­ing while on club duty for Wasps only to post­pone is­su­ing a judge­ment in highly pe­cu­liar cir­cum­stances.

It now ap­pears that the tweet, which has since been deleted, could be the rea­son for the de­lay pend­ing a sec­ond hear­ing within seven days.

Hughes’ case opened at 7pm and it was at 8.37pm that the Fi­jian-born Eng­land num­ber eight took to so­cial me­dia to voice his frus­tra­tion at the out­come, which has not been made pub­lic at the time.

If he is to be rep­ri­manded for his com­ment on Twit­ter, he is likely to face ad­di­tional sanc­tion on the grounds of con­duct. A Rugby Foot­ball Union state­ment said only that a de­lay was nec­es­sary “in or­der to deal with an is­sue that arose dur­ing the evening”. When asked for clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the is­sue in ques­tion, the RFU de­clined to com­ment

Hughes is un­able to play un­til a ver­dict is reached, al­most cer­tainly rul­ing him out of tonight’s Cham­pi­ons Cup clash with Le­in­ster as it is un­likely the panel can re­con­vene be­fore the trip to Dublin.

Hughes was cited for punch­ing Lewis Lud­low in the head while be­ing pinned to the floor by the Glouces­ter flanker in the fi­nal minute of Wasps’ 35-21 de­feat at the Ri­coh Arena last Satur­day.

Lud­low, mean­while, has been banned for four weeks by the RFU disciplinary panel fol­low­ing his own mis­de­meanour.

The flanker, in out­stand­ing form for the Cherry & Whites so far this sea­son, will be un­avail­able for his side’s re­turn to the Cham­pi­ons Cup against Cas­tres this Sun­day af­ter be­ing found to have stamped or tram­pled Wasps back El­liot Daly last week­end.

His sus­pen­sion by the RFU, which ends on Novem­ber 6, means Glouces­ter may have to turn to hooker Franco Marais as back row cover, where he has played be­fore.

South Africans Ruan Ack­er­mann and Jaco Kriel are both out in­jured, while Gareth Evans and Will Safe have not been reg­is­tered for Europe.

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