Featherstone Rovers have dismissed prop Darrell Griffin with immediate effect due to a serious breach of contract.
The 36-year-old was suspened in December pending an internal investigation on grounds of gross misconduct.
The investigation concluded that Griffin had made three unauthorised appearances for Rugby Union club, Morley RFC, while under contract as a Featherstone Rovers player.
Griffin had only agreed a new one-year deal with the club in August last year.
And while the negotiations progressed, the former Super League forward was categorically told not to partake in Rugby Union, with those terms also being added to his contract.
At a disciplinary hearing on December 11, club officials discussed allegations made against Griffin regarding the contravening of ‘Clause 13’ of the Rugby Football League players’ contract.
Featherstone’s legal advisers stated Griffin’s appearances for a Rugby Union club, without written permission from the club chairman or CEO – as per the RFL players’ contract, was deemed an act of serious insubordination.
On the sacking of Griffin, Rovers’ general manager, Davide Longo, said: “A player’s contract is designed to protect both the player and the club and any breach of it, on either side, has to be taken very seriously.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to gross misconduct. Without this, you set a dangerous precedent.
“We are undoubtedly disappointed by Darrell’s decision to play another contact sport while under contract with the club.
“RFL players’ contracts clearly state that permission to do so must be granted, in writing, by a chief executive or chairman.
“Darrell did not seek such permission and, given the club’s position and desire to achieve as much as possible in 2018, it would not have been granted under any circumstances.
“At the time of agreeing Darrell’s new contract, we made it extremely clear that he was not to play Rugby Union. This condition was added to his written contract, which Darrell signed in August 2017.”
Griffin exercised his right of appeal and he and a union representative attended a hearing on January 5.
The decision to sack the former England star was upheld and Griffin was informed of this outcome on Sunday.
I would say that’s permission don’t you ? I’m not going to let people say darrells done something wrong or that he didn’t have permission. He’s been nothing but a model professional for last 20 years and it hurts our family to see his name dragged under like this. pic.twitter.com/EbuqnibDAn
— Josh Griffin (@joshogriffo) January 7, 2018
Griffin’s brother, Josh Griffin, who plays for Hull FC, posted this tweet yesterday. Something suggests this situation isn’t over yet…