Fylde forward faces ban

Fylde v Sedgley Park - rugby.  Pictured is Gareth Rawlings.
Fylde v Sedgley Park - rugby. Pictured is Gareth Rawlings.

FYLDE rugby club forward Gareth Rawlings was reeling today after being banned from the game for 27 weeks.

FYLDE rugby club forward Gareth Rawlings was reeling today after being banned from the game for 27 weeks.

The swingeing punishment was handed out by a three-man Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel convened to investigate an incident of alleged off-field assault by Rawlings while touring East Africa with England Counties earlier in the summer.

The disciplinary hearing saw video evidence of the incident, which allegedly took place in a bar and, for which Rawlings was hauled up before the RFU.

The panel ruled that the ban should start from June 27 and go right through to January 2, 2013, meaning that the Fylde player will miss a huge part of the 2012-13 season.

He was ruled to be guilty of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and the game.