European Professional Club Rugby has launched an investigation into the 30-man brawl that erupted after the Munster team doctor was accused of making a "horrible" derogatory remark to Jamie George, Saracens' England hooker.

The melee during Saturday's game, which Saracens won 15-6, lasted several minutes and at one stage spilt over the advertising hoardings on to the athletics track.

Moments before the 50th-minute incident, George had reacted angrily to comments by Dr Jamie Kearns, Munster's head of medical, who was standing on the touchline.

Owen Farrell, the England captain, was eventually penalised for charging into the brawl, which some supporters helped to break up.


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The Irish province could now face disciplinary action, even though Saracens last night indicated they would not be making an official complaint.

"Information will now be sought from the match officials and from both clubs, and EPCR will be making no further comment until the investigation has been completed," said a spokesman for EPCR, the organiser of the Champions Cup.

During the game, Alex Sanderson, the Saracens defence coach, claimed in a television interview that Kearns had said "something derogatory" to George about his weight which "hadn't gone down too well".

Mark McCall, the Saracens director of rugby, indicated on Saturday night that the club had contemplated making an official complaint. "From what I know, something pretty bad was said at Jamie. He wouldn't have reacted the way he reacted otherwise. We'll take our time to decide whether we do anything," McCall said.

"Clearly it shouldn't happen, we all know that. I don't think what was said to Jamie was good at all. We'll see. We just have to decide ... because it started a 30-man brawl.

"Owen Farrell got penalised for running into the melee but from what I saw, 29 other people ran into it. It was a strange penalty to give and it was instigated by a member of their staff who said something horrible to one of our players." A Munster spokesman said Kearns apologised to George after the game.

Mako Vunipola said that the incident had spurred Saracens to the victory that kept alive their feint hopes of reaching the last eight.


Saracens trailed 6-3 and could have gone further behind, but Munster fly-half JJ Hanrahan missed the penalty conceded by Farrell at the end of the melee.

Tries by Sean Maitland and Vunipola in the final quarter, however, fired Saracens to a victory that moved the Premiership club to within one point of second-placed Munster in Pool Four, with two rounds remaining.

The rival clubs appear to be in a battle for one of the two best-placed runners-up qualification spots, with Racing 92 favourites to win the pool.

Saracens appeared more energised following the fight and the dominance of their scrum in particular set the platform for their high-octane finish.

"You want a reaction after something like that," Vunipola said. "As players, we don't want something to have to happen like that to rev us up, but it did today and we are just very thankful we got the result.

"For us, it is more about the performance than it is about the win, because if we get that right, everything falls into place.

"They were not going to give it to us and they didn't. It was physical. We spoke during the week about how you have to stick in the fight. It took us 65, maybe 70 minutes to get a try and after that we had a bit of control, but we also knew there was still a chance with them only two points behind. It was never going to take 40 minutes to break down this side."

The Saracens players celebrated their victory at a Christmas party in Soho on Saturday night and now face a critical three weeks in their attempt to save themselves from relegation from the Premiership after their 35-point deduction for breaching salary cap regulations. They start against second-placed Bristol at Allianz Park on Saturday.

McCall indicated that he was likely to start all of his England World Cup players in the next three fixtures, which also include a trip to Exeter on Dec 29 and home game against Worcester on Jan 4.