Leicester captain Tom Youngs has been charged with “conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game” following last Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Bristol.
The Rugby Football Union said Youngs will appear before an online independent disciplinary panel next Thursday.
“Youngs is charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game, contrary to RFU Rule 5.12,” the RFU said.
“This charge is for disrespecting the authority of the match official (contrary to World Rugby Law 9.28) following Leicester Tigers v Bristol Bears on Saturday 5 June 2021. The incident occurred after the full-time whistle.”
Leicester said Youngs had been stood down from selection for Tigers’ final Premiership game of the season against Wasps on Saturday.
“We have made the decision to remove Tom from selection following the charge against him from last weekend‘s game against Bristol,” Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick told the club’s official website.
Bristol rugby director Pat Lam said on Wednesday that he is “absolutely over the moon” the RFU is investigating the ending of Saturday’s game at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
Lam was accused of lying by Borthwick during a heated touchline disagreement in the closing stages.
The argument centred on uncertainty as to whether John Afoa, who had earlier been substituted, was fit to return to the field after fellow Bristol prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro picked up a late yellow card for repeated team infringements at the scrum.
The PA news agency understands that the RFU’s gathering of information is ongoing.
Lam believes the full context of the dispute is yet to be revealed and is eager to have his version of events heard by the governing body following a game that Bristol won 26-23.
“I was hoping and I am absolutely over the moon that I received an email (from the RFU) that there is an inquiry going on, which is fantastic,” Lam said, ahead of Saturday’s regular season finale at home to London Irish.
“What it enables is the true context and the full story.
“I am very used to people making judgements without the full story, and I am looking forward to this process to happen.”
Afoa’s half-time withdrawal had been recorded as tactical, but Lam claimed the player was injured and therefore unable to go back on.
The coach then appeared to change his stance and allowed the former All Black to return when informed by referee Ian Tempest that he would be required to bring off another player as Chaparro was joining Bristol front-rower Jake Kerr in the bin, which would lead to uncontested scrums.
Tigers boss Borthwick was recorded on pitchside microphones saying: “Pat you just said he was injured. Don’t lie Pat, don’t lie. Just don’t lie.”
With tensions still running high, Afoa helped table-topping Bristol hold on for a slender success, which left them three points above defending champions Exeter with one round of fixtures to go before the play-offs.
Players from both teams became involved in a mass brawl at full-time but have avoided disciplinary action.