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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 06:14 GMT 07:14 UK
Rugby club faces French police probe
Bridgend Rugby Club logo
Bridgend have a return game with Pau this weekend
European Rugby Cup officials have contacted Bridgend RFC asking for a full report on an alleged incident in a French nightclub involving five of the team's players.

A young woman claims she was sexually harassed and her boyfriend punched during an altercation in the south of France - hours after Bridgend had played Pau in a European Cup match last weekend.

But officials at the club said they have heard nothing.

The team's French opponents arrrive in south Wales on Friday for the second leg of the tournament scheduled for this Saturday.

'Fracas'

Bridgend travelled to the Pyrennean city of Pau for a European Challenge Cup fixture last Saturday and lost the game 18 - 6.

Later that evening, in a nightclub known as Barrio, it is alleged that five players were involved in a fracas.

Twenty-two-year-old local woman Celine Arno claims one player stripped off and made a sexual gesture towards her.

When her boyfriend, Jean Marie Gonthier, intervened, it is claimed that he was punched.

Questioning

Their lawyer, Claude Garcia, said French police are investigating and may want the players to return to France for questioning.

The European Rugby Cup in Dublin has confirmed it has received a complaint and has asked Bridgend RFC for a full report into the alleged matter.

Pau are in Bridgend on Saturday for the return leg of the match - but events off the pitch may overshadow the game itself.


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