The Wigan Warriors prop Tony Clubb has been charged with using racist language by the Rugby Football League (RFL). Clubb was suspended by Wigan on Friday as they launched a joint investigation with Hull FC after the teams’ Super League meeting on Thursday.
On Monday the RFL announced he had been “charged with the Grade F offence of unacceptable language/abuse based on national or ethnic origin, following an incident in the 15th minute of the match”. The 33-year-old will now attend an independent tribunal on Tuesday to answer the charge. The length of Clubb’s potential suspension is yet to be decided, but Grade F offences usually carry a minimum eight-match ban.
Hull second-row player Andre Savelio alleged that Clubb called him a “stupid Polynesian cunt” during the game at the DW Stadium. Savelio spoke out in the wake of the allegations, saying he would not “sit quietly” and that he had intended to deal with the issue himself during the game. When Clubb was taken off the field, Savelio reported the matter to the referee, James Child.
“I’m just hopeful a camera or microphone clocked it and it’s dealt with,” said Savelio. “I’ve seen these things happen enough to know most of the time there’s never enough proof on these – but I swear it on my mum’s …” Savelio was born in New Zealand before his family relocated to Warrington when he was a year old.
Addressing the incident on Friday, Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said: “There is no room for racism in sport in any form and we take the accusations made by Hull’s Andre Savelio very seriously. Our immediate intention is to work closely with Hull and the governing body to gather all the facts and support the investigation process that is in place.”
“In the short term, Tony Clubb will be suspended from all club activities,” Radlinski added. “Tony’s evidence will be taken into consideration by all parties moving forward and his welfare will remain [the] responsibility of Wigan Warriors throughout the investigation.”
In further fallout from the game, Hull pair Jake Connor and Brad Fash have been given one-match bans, for a high tackle and dangerous contact respectively, but can contest the decisions on Tuesday.