Munster to probe pitch invader incident

Saracens' Billy Vunipola is confronted by a fan after the game. Photo: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Munster Rugby has pledged to further investigate an incident at the end of their Champions Cup semi-final at the Ricoh Arena when a supporter appeared to confront Saracens player Billy Vunipola on the field.

The Irish province has identified the spectator, who was wearing a Munster jersey, and made it known he is neither a member of its official supporters club nor a season-ticket holder.

 

He had moved onto the side of the pitch as Vunipola was doing a lap of honour with his team-mates following Saracens’ comprehensive victory in Coventry and was photographed apparently gesticulating towards the player.

The spectator was detained by stadium officials and competition organisers EPCR before being released and banned from the Ricoh Arena, though police were understood to have not been involved in any action against him.

A statement issued by the province last night read: “Aligned with EPCR, Munster Rugby do not condone the entry of any spectator to the field of play.

“The incident following the Champions Cup semi-final at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday involved a spectator wearing a Munster jersey.

“The province wishes to confirm that the identified spectator is not a member of the Munster Rugby Supporters Club, and does not hold a season ticket with the province.

“Munster Rugby will investigate the incident further.”

Vunipola had been booed by some Munster supporters during the game, following his formal warning by Saracens as to his future conduct after he had used his social media account to defend homophobic comments by Australian player Israel Folau.

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