Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has been given a nine-match ban. The director of rugby was found guilty of 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game' at a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing in Coventry last night. The three-man panel took almost four hours to reach their verdict at the Coventry M6 Holiday Inn Hotel. Cockerill was found guilty of "using words that were obscene, inappropriate and unprofessional and behaviour that was inappropriate and unprofessional" in an exchange with fourth official Stuart Terheege during the Aviva Premiership final against Northampton Saints. Cockerill had pleaded not guilty to the case but was banned for nine matches starting on September 7 and ending on November 3. During that time, he is not allowed any "match day coaching involvement" with the Tigers team, which will see him cast to the stands for both Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup matches. That will leave the rookie coaching team of Paul Burke and Geordan Murphy to prepare the team for their opening games of the season. Leicester Tigers have refused to comment on the decision and can consider an appeal in due course. Cockerill was also ordered to pay £500 costs.
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