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Image: University of South Wales / Wikimedia Commons

University of South Wales rugby team banned from competing as “unacceptable” behaviour investigated

The University of South Wales (USW) has banned all four of their rugby teams from competing as players’ “cumulative unacceptable behaviours” are being investigated.

Due to the prohibition imposed by USW Students’ Union (SU), the teams will no longer be competing in March.

Several students have been suspended, while South Wales Police confirmed that no charges have yet been issued against students amid the investigation into various allegations.

The university has since launched its own inquiry, and confirmed that evidence has been found of “unacceptable behaviours”.

The investigation looked into “abusive behaviour, other misconduct, and behaviour incompatible with that expected of all members of the University community.”

On Thursday, the SU Board of Trustees confirmed that the ban will persist. A spokesman said: “Whilst the board of trustees accepted that individuals had been sanctioned under the University’s disciplinary code, it was clear that there had not been enough time for behaviours to change within the wider group.

“The board recognised the need for space to work with the university to develop a collaborative approach to rugby, with the students having the opportunity to be at the heart of this process.

The board recognised the need for space to work with the university to develop a collaborative approach to rugby, with the students having the opportunity to be at the heart of this process

– University of South Wales

“The Students’ Union met with all men’s rugby union players earlier (on Thursday) to inform them of the outcome of the board of trustees and to outline the next steps.

“We understand that this is not the outcome that many had been hoping for, however, we have already received a number of positive responses from men’s rugby players who are pleased to be included in this process.”

The decision has been fully supported by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS).

A BUCS spokesman said: “Abusive and inappropriate conduct is not part of the sporting values or inclusiveness which BUCS promotes and we are heartened by the stance taken by USW to discipline those involved as well as develop an education programme and in-house process which creates the right values and behaviours for their student athletes.”

The suspension will only impact extra-curricular rugby teams and fixtures arranged by BUCS and the National Union of Students (NUS). The exceptions are the women’s rugby team and university rugby league.

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