Wigan suspend prop Clubb amid racism probe

Tony Clubb, with the ball, has been suspended as Wigan investigate an incident of alleged racism.
Tony Clubb, with the ball, has been suspended as Wigan investigate an incident of alleged racism.

Wigan have suspended their prop forward Tony Clubb while they wait for the outcome of an investigation into an incident of alleged racism.

Hull second rower Andre Savelio claimed he was the subject of a racial slur during the first half of his side's Super League defeat by the Warriors at the DW Stadium on Thursday night.

The incident was placed on report by referee James Child and both clubs on Friday issued a joint statement revealing they have launched a joint internal investigation.

Both clubs say they are determined to demonstrate a strong and united approach against racial abuse on the day that rugby league joined the sporting boycott of social media platforms in a bid to tackle online discrimination and abuse.

Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said: "There is no room for racism in sport in any form and we take the accusations made by Hull's Andre Savelio very seriously.

"Our immediate intention is to work closely with Hull and the governing body to gather all the facts and support the investigation process that is in place.

"In the short term, Tony Clubb will be suspended from all club activities.

"Tony's evidence will be taken into consideration by all parties moving forward and his welfare will remain a responsibility of Wigan Warriors throughout the investigation."

Hull chief executive James Clark said: "Andre has the full support of everyone at our club and we will work hard to ensure this incident is thoroughly investigated and that his voice can be heard. Racial abuse is not acceptable in any form."

A spokesman for the Rugby Football League says it will follow the normal process, with its match review panel considering the incident on Monday, following the completion of all round five fixtures.

The panel will decide whether or not to bring charges - which would be heard by an independent operational rules tribunal on Tuesday - but also has the option to refer the matter for further investigation.

New Zealand-born Savelio took to social media to give his version of events, insisting that he "won't sit quietly" after making the allegation.

He said on Twitter: "Listen there's no reason at all for me to lie, I didn't report it initially as I was going to deal with it myself the next time we came into contact, he got taken off after and never came back on.

"For him to call me a 'stupid Polynesian c***' in a game where 30 per cent are of that heritage, hell I won't sit quietly.

"I've seen these things happen enough to know most of the time there's never enough proof on these - but I swear it on my mum's... I'm just hopeful a camera or microphone clocked it and it's dealt with."

Hull's Australian coach Brett Hodgson said: "I don't know too much to be honest. We will just have to wait and see. It is very disappointing."

Australian Associated Press