Jonny Hill reported to police for clash with fan after Sale’s Premiership semi-final defeat

Jonny Hill of Sale Sharks walks through a throng of supporters
Jonny Hill's Sale team-mates have rallied round the player - Getty Images/David Rogers

Jonny Hill, the Sale lock, has been reported to the police by a fan who was left with a cut above their eye following an altercation at the end of Saturday’s Premiership semi-final.

Telegraph Sport reported on Saturday how the incident was being investigated by Hill’s club after the England and Lions lock was accused of putting a Bath supporter in a headlock after the Sharks’ semi-final loss at The Rec. The 29-year-old, who is 6ft 7in, was not involved in the fixture and was sitting in the friends and family section of the West Stand.

It is understood that the 28-year-old fan, who did not wish to be named on Saturday evening, has reported the incident to Avon and Somerset Police, although it remains to be seen whether any action will be taken. Telegraph Sport has contacted the police for comment.

“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,” said the fan after the game. “He was like saying to me, ‘Don’t ever do that again’.

“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.”

As of Sunday evening, there has been no word from the Rugby Football Union regarding a potential investigation or charge although it is understood that English rugby’s governing body is gathering reports from both clubs, with Sharks fans also complaining of verbal and physical abuse on social media on Sunday.

In the aftermath of the incident, Sale front-rowers Si McIntyre and Tommy Taylor – both of whom started in the semi-final defeat – rallied round Hill on social media, suggesting that the full story remained unknown.

“Easy headline with one narrative. Get the whole story, pal,” Taylor wrote on X, with McIntyre adding: “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story... the values of rugby are based on respect so salacious headlines only detract from the skill displayed today.”

Alex Sanderson, Sale director of rugby, revealed afterwards that he had not seen the incident while also defending Hill’s character.

“It is news to me,” said Sanderson. “Jonny is not the aggressive type and I will answer those questions when I know. I can vouch for Jonny’s character, he is not an overly aggressive or spiteful person.”

Hill had been linked with a move away from the Salford Community Stadium at the end of the season, with Lyon his potential destination. But he dislocated a kneecap against La Rochelle in the Champions Cup match on January 24 and has not featured since. He will stay with Sale for a further season.

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