Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has confirmed Tom Arscott has been suspended by the club for allegedly leaking information to opponents Bristol in January.
Bristol fought back from 15-0 down to win the Aviva Premiership encounter 24-23 at the AJ Bell Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Arscott was suspended after some of his team-mates expressed concerns to the coaching staff and he is now the subject of an internal investigation by Sale.
Diamond told Sky Sports News HQ: “Senior players came to me and said they had heard that information had been passed from one group to another.
“We set a disciplinary up and, in order to do that, we informed the RFU.”
When asked how Sale’s senior players learned that information had been leaked, Diamond said: “I don’t really know the full details of it. That information has been passed onto the RFU.
“Effectively a player has met with the opposition and given them some information – that is all I am allowed to say.
“All we have done is asked him why he has done it. He has replied and we now have to go through a formal disciplinary process.”
Arscott’s brother, Luke, plays for Bristol, although neither player made an appearance during the match in question.
Sale have also lodged an official complaint with the RFU who are investigating the matter.
Bristol Rugby, who have denied any misconduct, said in a statement: “The club are absolutely confident of no wrongdoing in this matter and will fully co-operate with the investigation.”
When asked if he had any idea why Arscott had allegedly leaked information, Diamond said: “No, none whatsoever. It is unheard of, I think, in sport.”