List of rugby union incidents

The following is a listing of all off-field incidents that have received media coverage, particularly those involving footballers from rugby union competitions in Australia, France, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.





  • Several Wallabies including Joe Roff, Rod Kafer and Owen Finegan were accused of damaging a cab and behaving loutishly in a South African restaurant. The trio were suspended for two-matches and given fines, while another two players were given severe warnings.




  • After several alleged racial incidents within the South African Springboks, team an independent inquiry into the incidents was ordered before then being cancelled by the South African Rugby Football Union.
  • South African international Geo Cronje allegedly refused to share a room with team Quinton Davids because of his race. He was later thrown out of their World Cup training squad because of the incident.


  • Former Scotland rugby union international Bryan Gossman was charged with the rape of a woman in Northern Ireland.
  • South African rugby union player Charlie Manuel was given a life suspension by the Boland Rugby Union club after he hit opposing assistant coach Andre Carstens so hard that his eardrum burst.
  • ACT Brumbies player Henari Veratau was charged by police after he allegedly dragged a taxi driver from his cab and then went on to steal it.
  • Former French captain and "national hero" Marc Cecillon shot his wife Chantal in the head with a Magnum revolver at a house party in front of around 60 guests. He was sentenced to twenty years jail in 2006. . .
  • It was alleged that Australian Wallaby Mat Rogers had assaulted and abused an individual at a nightclub in Edinburgh at 4am after the first Australia-Scotland Test on November 6, however the Australian Rugby Union took no action over the incident.
  • Mat Rogers was fined after an undisclosed amount after he stated that Sydney club rugby was nothing but a "waste of time" for Wallabies players.
  • Professional footballer Stan Collymore alleged that several members of the Bath Rugby team assaulted him leaving Collymore with a broken nose.



  • England international Olly Barkley was arrested by police after he was involved in a fight in which one man was left with head injuries and a broken jaw.
  • Boland rugby player Riaan Loots was allegedly felled by a stiff arm during a tackle while playing for Rawsonville against Delicious. He was then kicked in the head and died in hospital two days later. Two players were charged with murder and three counts of assault..
  • Moments before a match against Australia at Jade Stadium, All Black Jerry Collins was caught on live television cameras urinating on the ground.
  • In the Western Cape of South Africa, a spectator at a rugby union match in Clanwilliam invaded the field brandishing a knife.
  • During a Super 14 fixture between the South African Cats and the Australian Western Force, four men holding AK-47s robbed the ticket desk after threatening staff.
  • During a fixture between English rugby union clubs Northampton and Bath, allegations appeared of racism amongst members of both teams.
  • An un-named former All Black international was charged with domestic violence, possessing an offensive weapon and threatening to kill.
  • Several members of the Fijian national side while in Japan were dropped after they consumed excessive amounts of alcohol before fighting amongst themselves and damaging the hotel they were booked in at Osaka.
  • Caerphilly Rugby Football Club player Jordan Rees strangled his girlfriend after she spoke to an ex-boyfriend at the rugby club's fancy dress party.
  • The Scottish Rugby Union suspended Justin McNabb for nine months for sustained and extreme verbal abuse of a referee.
  • Lloyd McDermott, the first Aboriginal man to play international rugby union for the Australian team, claimed the reason he refused to play in South Africa was that he had to be classified as an ‘honorary white’.
  • A referee was forced to call off a match between Harlequins and Collegians after players began kicking, punching and swearing at each other. The two teams were suspended indefinitely.
  • Australian Wallaby Matt Dunning was fined $3,000 and faced a disciplinary committee after he was intoxicated and damaged a taxi.
  • South African player Charl van Vliet was accused of racism by a black French player while playing in the French rugby union second division.
  • Northampton Saints player Mark Robinson was given a written warning after being found to have used "inappropriate language" believed to be of a racist tone towards Bath's Andy Higgins.
  • Wendell Sailor was fined and suspended for "behaving aggressively" while intoxicated at the Billy the BUMS cocktail bar in Cape Town, South Africa.He was later banned for two years after returning a positive test for cocaine.


  • New South Wales Waratahs player Kurtley Beale was found guilty of drink-driving while unlicensed, blowing twice the legal limit.
  • At the conclusion of a match against Ulster Rugby, Stade Toulousain player Trevor Brennan physically assaulted a fan in the crowd including punching him in the head. He was eventually banned for life and fined over the incident.
  • While playing at Ulster Rugby, the Newport Gwent Dragons were allegedly subjected to racial abuse from home fans.
  • Scottish rugby union player Kenneth Gibson was charged with assault following an incident where he attacked an opposing player while playing for Hillhead Jordanhill.
  • All Black Sitiveni Sivivatu admitted to hitting his wife. He was arrested but later discharged without conviction and fined.
  • An un-named Wellington rugby union player is wanted for questioning over the rape of a twenty year old female and several other rugby players are wanted for questioning over viewing the assault.
  • Drunken South African fans started racist chants and abuse at Rugby sevens coach Paul Treu after his side lost against Samoa in the Hong Kong Sevens.
  • It was reported that an unnamed All Black tested positive for the use of cannabis following a test match against France.
  • Two Australian Internationals were questioned by police over the assault of a Queensland taxi driver during the early hours of the morning.
  • On 19 October, 2007, Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chairman Peter McGrath stood aside after Bundaberg Rum reportedly accused him of being in an intoxicated state at the Rugby World Cup in Marseille, France. McGrath refuted the claims.

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