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Sale Sharks suspend player arrested on suspicion of rape

The player, understood to be a past England international, was released on bail along with a 41-year-old woman connected to the alleged incident.

A view of Sale Shark's AJ Bell Stadium.
A view of Sale Shark's AJ Bell Stadium.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP CLUB Sale Sharks have suspended a player who was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of raping a teenager.

As first reported by the UK Daily Mail, it emerged in Britain’s national press on Tuesday evening that an England rugby union international was arrested on Sunday morning following an incident in a then-undisclosed part of the country a night prior.

In connection with the same incident, a 41-year-old woman was held on suspicion of administering a substance with intent to cause a sexual offence.

It’s understood that the rugby player in question, who remains unnamed for legal reasons, has not represented England for some time and was also not expected to be included in Eddie Jones’ upcoming Six Nations squad.

Both parties were released on bail earlier this week pending further investigation.

Greater Manchester Police today confirmed that the alleged incident in question had occurred in Manchester.

“Officers were called shortly before 11am on Sunday 9 January 2022 to a report of a sexual assault on a female on Thorpeness Square in Manchester,” a spokesperson said.

“A woman in her late teens was reported to have been sexually assaulted. She is currently being supported by specialist officers. A man was arrested on suspicion of rape and a 41-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of administering a substance with intent to cause a sexual offence.

“Both have since been released on bail as enquiries continue and a number of lines of enquiry are being followed up by detectives.”

Greater Manchester-based rugby club Sale Sharks responded to these developments on Wednesday evening.

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In a statement regarding “recent media reports in the national press”, Sale confirmed they had suspended a player until further notice:

“Sale Sharks have been made aware of an allegation against one of its players and the subsequent arrest of that player by Greater Manchester Police on Sunday 9th January 2022.

“The player in question has been suspended by Sale Sharks until further notice and is currently cooperating with police officers to assist in their investigation.

“As this matter is subject to a legal process there will be no further comment at this time.”

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