‘Mad scenes’ as England’s Jonny Hill puts fan in headlock

England rugby star Jonny Hill has been accused of “headbutting a fan and leaving him with a gouged eye” after the semi-final defeat.

The shocking incident happened after Sale Sharks beat Bath 31-23 in a Gallagher Premiership clash at the Recreation Ground.

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England forward Hill, who did not play, was sitting in the stands with Sharks coaches when nerves boiled over after the tense game, according to The Sun.

The 6ft 7in second row, who represented the British & Irish Lions, allegedly injured a Bath fan after the final whistle.

Hill had been watching the game from the stands on the recreation ground but was spotted scuffling with a supporter sitting in the Bath players’ friends and family area as he came up the stand steps.

The 28-year-old man, who did not want to be named, was left with a cut above his right eye and broken sunglasses.

An anonymous fan said: “He cracked my sunglasses and cut the top of my eye.

“I was just kidding him. He told me, ‘Don’t ever do that again.'”

Byron McGuigan, one of Sale’s coaches, pulled Hill off before a fan complained about his injuries.

Rugby journalist Nik Simon wrote on Twitter: “Crazy scenes at the end of Bath v Sale. Jonny Hill was involved in an altercation with a female fan, hitting him in the head, breaking his glasses and leaving a gash above his right eye.

Hill has 13 caps for England, while Sal’s defensive coach Paul Deacon was heard apologizing to a fan following the altercation.

The incident is said to have taken place as Hill left his seat after the final whistle of Sale’s 31-23 defeat.

Substitute Niall Annett scored a 74th-minute try to seal a dramatic victory for Bath and ensure they reached their first final in nine years.

A statement from Sale said: “Sale Sharks are aware of an incident involving a Bath Rugby player and supporter at the final whistle of today’s semi-final.

“The club will work with Bath Rugby to complete their investigation into the incident and will not be making any further comment at this time.”

Asked about the incident, Sala boss Alex Sanderson said in his post-match press conference: “It’s news to me.

“Jonny is not an aggressive guy and I will answer those questions when I know.

“I can vouch for Jonny’s character. He is not an overly aggressive mean person.”

Sanderson was left disappointed as his side lost and lost their place in the Premiership final.

“It all ended a little earlier than I thought it would. I’m disappointed because we were victims of our own demise in the second half,” he added to TNT Sports.

“Too many penalties and too many lost possessions due to aerial contests.

“Inherent group pride. In many ways, this has been one of my most rewarding seasons.

— This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished with permission

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