MX23RW : Tuesday, July 17 19:40:50

Sale Sharks winger Tom Arscott suspended over information leak allegations

Sale Sharks reveals that they have suspended winger Tom Arscott over allegations of an information leak prior to their New Year's Day defeat to Bristol.

Sale Sharks have announced that winger Tom Arscott has been suspended by the club over allegations that he leaked information to Bristol Rugby ahead of the Premiership clash between the two sides on New Year's Day.

The RFU announced on Monday that it is investigating a complaint made by Sale that information regarding their team had been given to Bristol ahead of the match, which the Sharks lost 24-23 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Bristol subsequently confirmed that Sale winger Tom Arscott met his brother Luke Arscott - who currently plays for the West Country outfit - in the team hotel the day before the match, but insisted that "nothing of any sporting value" was passed on.

However, Tom Arscott, who used to play for Bristol too, has been suspended since January 4 and the issue is now in the hands of the RFU.

"We investigated it internally and we are going through a disciplinary, and under the regulations, we have to report it [to the RFU], so we did that yesterday. It's now in the hands of the RFU," Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond told reporters.

"I think if you do your own analysis, you probably don't need the information, because teams do the same most weeks. But in the same breath, I think there's an element of trust you need, and loyalty. And we'll see where that's at.

"I think when you sign a professional contract, team information is sacrosanct to the team's performance and that can't be discussed, certainly with opposition teams. I think that is the top and bottom of it. I think it's worded (in contracts), words to that effect, that the passing of information is forbidden."

Sale's next match sees them host Scarlets on Saturday.

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Bath's George Ford with his Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season award, pictured on May 20, 2015
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