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Police investigate Jonny Hill’s alleged altercation with fan after Bath v Sale
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Police investigate Jonny Hill’s alleged altercation with fan after Bath v Sale

A police investigation has been launched following an incident that left a supporter with a cut above his eye in an alleged altercation with Jonny Hill after Bath’s Premiership playoff win against Sale at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

The 28-year-old supporter reported the incident to Avon and Somerset police, who confirmed that an investigation is under way. Hill, who plays for Sale but is out with injury, was watching the match from near the press box alongside the Sharks’ coaches. After the final whistle Hill was seen in a scuffle as he went down the stairs of the stand. The supporter complained of broken sunglasses and a cut above his eye.

“Officers are investigating after receiving a report of one man ­assaulting another at Bath Rugby grounds, in Spring Gardens Road, Bath, on Saturday 1 June,” Avon and Somerset police said. “One man received medical attention from a paramedic at the grounds and ­inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the incident. If anyone witnessed the incident or have any footage, please contact us on 101 and quote reference 5224140921.”

On Saturday, Sale said they would be conducting their own investigation while the Rugby Football Union is speaking to the Sharks and Bath before deciding on its course of action. The supporter, who does not wish to be named, said after the incident: “I was sitting there, and he came down the stairs, grabbed me around the throat, snapped my sunglasses and cut the top of my eye.

“To be honest, all I want is a new pair of sunglasses. It is not football. I was sitting with my partner and all her ­family [Bath fans]. We were Worcester fans. I don’t want to make a big thing.”

Some Sale players came to Hill’s defence on social media, and said the full story remained unknown. The Sharks director of rugby, Alex Sanderson, said he did not see the incident but offered a defence of Hill’s character.

“It is news to me, Jonny is not the aggressive type and I will answer those questions when I know [more],” he said. “He is not an overly aggressive, spiteful person.”

Curry called up after cameo

Tom Curry has been called into the England squad pre­paring for the summer Tests against Japan and New Zealand despite ­making his return from a seven‑month injury layoff only last weekend but Elliot Daly has been ruled out of the tour due to the imminent arrival of his first child.

Tom Curry playing for EnglandView image in fullscreen

Curry, who is included in a 33-man squad along with his twin brother, Ben, came off the bench for his first appearance of the season in Sale’s Premiership playoff defeat by Bath. The 25-year-old impressed in his 32 minutes on the pitch, making a memorable tackle on Josh Bayliss, and following Sale’s defeat, Steve Borthwick has called on the openside flanker.

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His previous appearance before last weekend was in England’s World Cup bronze-medal match victory against Argentina and he has since undergone lengthy hip surgery which he himself described as a “car crash”. His director of rugby Sanderson has warned that Curry will need further hip operations in the future and that “he only has a certain number of games” but such was the impressive nature of his cameo, he joins up with the England squad in Bagshot this week.

Daly’s absence is a blow to Borthwick given he started England’s most recent Test – the narrow defeat by France in March – after Immanuel Feyi-Waboso was ruled out. His ability to play at centre would have been welcome given Manu Tuilagi’s unavailability but he joins Ellis Genge and Ollie Chessum in missing out.

The Currys are two of 13 players added from the losing semi‑­finalists – those from Bath and ­Northampton were not considered – with ­Borthwick poised to finalise his touring squad next Monday. Dan Cole and Joe ­Marler have also been added, while of the 19-man squad announced last week Guy Pepper is the only omission.

Gloucester’s Josh Hathaway is one of four uncapped players in the Wales squad for their summer matches against South Africa and Australia. The 20-year-old, who can play at full‑back or on the wing, has represented both Wales and England at under‑20 level but has been called up by Warren Gatland, who missed out on the dual-qualified Feyi-Waboso this year.

Source: theguardian.com