Rugby: Byrnes fined for 'verbal attack' on opponent

Adam Byrnes. photo / Getty Images
Adam Byrnes. photo / Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels lock Adam Byrnes has been fined $AU7500 by SANZAR for his "unwarranted and serious verbal attack'' on NSW centre Tom Carter.

Byrnes, who hasn't played since their round-two match after injuring his elbow, was found by judicial officer Nigel Hampton to have committed an "act of misconduct'' for his comments published in Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper in March.

Hampton found that the interview contained "an unwarranted and serious verbal attack by Mr Byrnes on the integrity and good character of another player (Waratahs player Tom Carter), an attack such as well might impair public confidence in that other player's character and integrity''.

Byrnes's comments came after Carter alleged he was eye-gouged by the Russian international during the game.

Byrnes was initially found guilty but successfully appealed the 10-week ban, with the SANZAR judiciary admitting there was no conclusive evidence.

He said Carter's actions were a "disgrace''.

"I give him credit as a player, but to carry on in terms of bringing another player down and potentially ruining their livelihood, it is a very poor quality to have as a human being,'' Byrnes said in the interview of Carter.

"To be falsely accused with such a slanderous tag as Tom has said is extremely poor form.''

Hampton said he gave credit to Byrnes' long unblemished career, but found there was no remorse shown or apology issued.

He was ordered to pay a fine of $5000 and $2500 in costs.

Byrnes has resumed full training and is hopeful of making his return to playing with the Rebels next week.

- AAP

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