Saturday’s English Premiership match between Northampton and Bath was briefly stopped following allegations of racist abuse from both sides.
Referee Wayne Barnes stopped play in the 57th minute of the match after a complaint from a spectator.
“It was brought to the fourth official’s attention by the chief security officer at the ground that he had received at least one allegation that players on both sides had been racially abusing each other,” said Brian Campsall, the RFU’s referee assessor at the game.
“The chief security officer told the fourth official to stop the game. The captains were given 30 seconds to talk to all their players, tell them that there were accusations and that if they were taking place we didn’t want to hear any more. I don’t think it [racist abuse] is something that goes on in rugby union.”
Northampton went on to beat Bath 33-18, for their second win in three matches. Saints had a great start and three Bruce Reihana penalties and tries from Tom Smith and Sean Lamont put them 21-3 ahead just before half-time.
Bath hit back with a try from Andrew Higgins on 40 minutes and just after the break, a penalty from Olly Barkley. But tries from Robbie Kydd and Carlos Spencer sealed victory although Michael Stephenson scored a late consolation try.
Meanwhile, Gloucester snatched a 27-all draw with a penalty from Brad Davies five minutes from time as Leicester let victory slip at Welford Road.
In the day’s other match, Bristol beat London Irish 23-11 to go top of the Premiership.