Rugby: Edinburgh in Cup probe

There was a crowd of over 37,000 people at Saturday's Edinburgh v Toulouse match
There was a crowd of over 37,000 people at Saturday's Edinburgh v Toulouse match
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Edinburgh RUGBY could face possible disciplinary action if an investigation by the Heineken Cup organisers, ERC, finds the team’s supporters guilty of insulting Toulouse players and officials at the end of Saturday’s epic quarter-final 19-14 victory at Murrayfield.

There have been allegations that several supporters hurled abuse at the Toulouse bench, which was located beside the running track. French media yesterday reported that ERC officials were now considering whether to take further action against Edinburgh.

An ERC official was quoted in the French press as confirming that an investigation is under way. He said: “The matter is not closed but it is still too early to talk about sanctions.”

The issue revolves around claims that Toulouse coaches and players Census Johnston and Yoann Maestri were verbally abused after the final whistle. Johnston, a Samoan prop, is understood to have been the target of the abuse. Maestri reacted to the taunts, although there is no suggestion of any violence.

Maestri missed the club’s charter flight after being asked to offer an explanation of events. He later flew home in the company of Toulouse officials, including club president Rene Bouscatel. Edinburgh officials will be asked to provide their own statement in response to the allegations as part of their post-match follow-up report.

The decision to allow supporters access to the pitch-side running track has enhanced the atmosphere at the national stadium during RaboDirect PRO12 League. Moreover, there have been no reports of any abuse of players from fans on the touchlines during league games.