Brits let off with warning
Sarries hooker escapes suspension after abusive gesture
Last Updated: 18/05/10 5:07pm
Brits: Warned over conduct
Saracens hooker Schalk Brits has been warned by the Rugby Football Union after making an abusive gesture to spectators during a Guinness Premiership match.
The incident occurred as the South African was substituted during Sarries' 32-23 win over Leicester at Welford Road on May 8.
Brits, who pleaded guilty in front of a disciplinary panel, was ordered to pay £250 in costs.
Saracens will face Leicester in the Premiership Grand Final on May 29, but RFU disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett said the incident was not serious enough to hand out a suspension ahead of the clash.
"Schalk reacted to something from the crowd and his signal was momentary without any aggression and there was no evidence that he used any abusive language," Blackett said.
"He immediately apologised to the crowd after the game and so there was no adverse reaction.
"We also received a letter from the chief executive of Leicester Tigers, Peter Wheeler, who praised his apology and contrite demeanour.
"While we were disappointed with the player's reaction and we reminded him about the core values of rugby, the offence was at the bottom of the scale of seriousness and was not serious enough to merit a suspension from playing."
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter also faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday after allegedly pushing a female Leicester supporter and making inappropriate comments.