Tom Arscott: Sale Sharks player met brother before Bristol Premiership match

Tom and Luke Arscott
Sale Sharks wing Tom Arscott (left) did not play in the game, while Luke Arscott was named on the Bristol bench

Sale's Tom Arscott met Bristol back and brother Luke Arscott before their teams played, but "nothing of any sporting value" was passed on to the coaches, according to Bristol boss Mark Tainton.

Sale have complained to the Rugby Football Union that confidential team information was passed to Bristol before their Premiership fixture at the AJ Bell Stadium on 1 January, which the visitors won 24-23.

Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond confirmed wing Tom Arscott has been suspended since 4 January.

Diamond also told BBC Radio Manchester that there was "no suggestion" from Sale that Bristol, who deny any wrongdoing, had asked one brother to obtain information from the other.

The Sharks have lost their past 10 matches in all competitions.

Tainton, who has been in interim charge of bottom-of-the-table side Bristol since November, said: "We are aware of Sale contacting the RFU with regards to a complaint.

"We have yet to hear from the RFU about this. From what we are aware, we are entirely confident that Bristol Rugby has done nothing wrong and we have not acted in a way that is against the spirit and values of rugby.

"Tom and Luke met on New Year's Eve at the team hotel - which is not unusual for families living in different parts of the country.

"However, following the conversation between the brothers, nothing was said or passed to the Bristol coaches of any sporting value, nor did it change the strategy in which we approached the game in any way, shape or form."

'Team information is sacrosanct'

Diamond explained: "For us to do our internal investigation and disciplinary, we have to inform the governing body of what we're doing, and that's where we're at. It is now in the hands of the RFU.

"When you sign a professional contract, team information is sacrosanct to the team's performance and that can't be discussed with opposition teams, that's the top and bottom of it.

"In the contract, the passing of information is forbidden."

Neither Sale's Arscott, who signed from London Welsh in 2013, or Bristol's Arscott, who has previously played for clubs including Exeter Chiefs and Bath, entered the field during the match.

"Luke has carried on training," added Tainton. "We believe that he has done nothing wrong or that jeopardises Bristol rugby."

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