Sale sack Arscott after leak investigation

Sale have terminated the contract of back Tom Arscott after an alleged leak of information to Bristol.

Sharks chief executive Jon Dorsett said in a brief statement that the decision followed a disciplinary investigation and hearing.

Arscott had been suspended since Jan. 4 over the ‘leak’ that was said to have taken place before the the Premiership clash between Sale and Bristol three days earlier.

Dorsett said: “Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom Arscott with immediate effect following a disciplinary investigation and hearing. No further comment will be made, in accordance with the club’s disciplinary procedure.”

Sale initially suspended 29-year-old wing Arscott, who joined the club from London Welsh in 2013, after his team-mates expressed concerns to the north west club’s director of rugby Steve Diamond.

Earlier this week, it emerged the Rugby Football Union was investigating a complaint made by Sale that related to “the passing of information to the opposition team” ahead of the AJ Bell Stadium fixture against Bristol on Jan. 1.

Bristol subsequently said that Arscott met his brother Luke — a Bristol player — at the club’s hotel on New Year’s Eve.

But Bristol also insisted that “nothing of any sporting value” was passed on to coaching staff and that they were “absolutely confident of no wrongdoing”.

When Diamond was questioned about the situation on Tuesday of this week, he revealed that Tom Arscott had been suspended since Jan. 4.

“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,” Diamond said.

When then asked how disruptive it had been for the rest of his squad, Diamond, whose side have lost their last 10 matches in all competitions, added: “The squad are galvanised.

“They came to me with the problem. I knew nothing about it. And I reacted to that — senior players coming to me.

“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, there is an element of trust you need, and loyalty. 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. That is the top and bottom of it.”

Bristol won the match 24-23 after trailing by 15 points in the first-half.

Neither Arscott brother played in the game, with Tom not included in Sale’s 23-man squad and Luke an unused replacement in Bristol’s.

In Bristol’s statement, which was read out by head coach Mark Tainton at the club’s scheduled weekly press conference on Tuesday, the club said it was “entirely comfortable” they had done nothing wrong.

England Under-19 international Tom Arscott is a former Bristol player, and in addition to Sale and London Welsh, he also had spells with Worcester and his home-town club Plymouth.

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