A number of unnamed Leicester Tigers players have been disciplined by the club following an incident which took place following the sides 33-10 pre-season victory over Italian outfit Treviso on Friday August 19.
The incident which occurred in a McDonald’s restaurant revolved around a player who became impatient whilst waiting to pay for his food and then made the decision to walk away in the early hours of August 20, thus forcing the McDonald’s employees to report the man which saw Italian military police enter the fray.
The juvenile action which has been accurately surmised by Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill as representing the club as ‘a bit silly’, ensured that the matter was dealt with swiftly:
“The players involved have been dealt with, it is disappointing for obvious reasons,” said Cockerill, refusing to name any players involved.
“I would much prefer it not to happen. As the reports say, there was a player who took a cookie from a jar and that was paid for by the time the police arrived.
“It all died down. It was something of nothing but the players involved have been dealt with by myself and that’s the end of the matter.
“It is private. It was dealt with swiftly and it was not particularly serious otherwise it would have been dealt with by the police.”
Leicester Tigers open their Aviva Premiership campaign against Gloucester this Friday and Cockerill has taken the time to remind his players of the responsibilities that come hand-in-hand with being a professional rugby player.
However he can also sympathize with the fact that in the modern era of social media technology that the players are always under public gaze and constant scrutiny:
“It is a danger for everybody, and it is what it is,” said Cockerill.
“You are a Leicester Tiger 24/7 and you are judged upon how you behave however good or bad that is.
“Our players do a lot of good things that don’t get reported. It is a lesson learnt for some young people about how those things can escalate.
“It made us all look a bit silly.
“My own personal view is that just because a young player is very good at something – and that can be anything – they are still young people growing up and they will still do things that they shouldn’t do, like all of us sat around this table and all of your readers too.
“Everybody does things that they shouldn’t do. Sometimes they have to experience those situations before they go ‘actually, I was told that would happen, it has happened, maybe I should have listened to the old prat who told us it would’.
“I have been there myself so I can understand how that happens, not withstanding that we don’t accept or condone that type of behaviour.
“Those players have been dealt with and we move on. I would much rather it have not happened but our players do lots of good things as well.”
(source via skysports.com)