Chris Boyd to face disciplinary panel over referee comments

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Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd is set to face a disciplinary hearing for criticising the performance of referee Adam Leal in their loss to Saracens.

The Saints boss said Leal “didn’t have enough nuts, did he?” after failing to issue a yellow card against Saracens during a series of scrums under the posts at a stage when the match was in the balance.

Even though Northampton had been awarded successive penalties at the set-piece and Mark McCall’s men had been warned, Leal opted to give the next infringement against the hosts, who went on to lose 30-6 on January 2.

“He didn’t have enough nuts did he? I mean it was a clear hinge. There was only one side under pressure in that series of scrums,” Boyd said.

Boyd will appear before a virtual independent disciplinary hearing on Thursday evening for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game, contrary to Rugby Football Union rule 5.12.

Although no sanction table exists for the charge, a wide range of punishments are available to the three-strong panel that include fines and matchday bans.

Boyd to depart Northampton

In other news regarding Boyd, the Northampton director of rugby is expected to leave his position at the end of this season and return home to his native New Zealand, according to numerous reports.

Boyd, who has overseen a transformation in Northampton’s playing philosophy since taking over in 2018, leaves behind him the roots of a new and exciting young coaching staff, featuring Sam Vesty and Phil Dowson.

The 63-year-old will remain involved with Saints by taking up a consultancy role from afar, while it is thought that Northampton do not intend making an outside appointment when Boyd departs.

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