ROCHDALE Hornets centre Lewis Galbraith, a local man, has been charged by the Rugby Football League with verbally abusing an unnamed opponent in the Summer Bash derby clash with Oldham at Blackpool on May 27.
According to the RFL website, Galbraith is charged under Law 15.1 (f) — “verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, disability, national or ethnic origin, or any other form of unacceptable behaviour or language.”
Under the sub-head ‘Incident’ the alleged offence is described as ‘verbal abuse based on race/colour towards an opponent’.
If Galbraith were to plead guilty or to be found guilty, the grade F charge would carry a recommended suspension of eight games or more.
His case is due to be heard in Leeds this evening (Tues) by an Independent Operational Rules Tribunal.
Also before the tribunal will be the case of Oldham player Sammy Gee, who was sent off near the end of an incident-packed game for allegedly striking a Rochdale player.
Gee, who will be supported by his chairman Chris Hamilton, faces a grade C striking charge, recommended sanction a ban of two to three games.
Oldham officials will make no comment ahead of the tribunal, but the club is known to feel so strongly about this case that the player will attend the tribunal with his club chairman Chris Hamilton in preference to the player’s use of an early guilty plea, which is available to him.
Asked by reporters at the end of the game for his view of Gee’s actions and the subsequent red card, Oldham head coach Scott Naylor said: “I’ve known Sammy for more than five years and he is not that kind of person.
“There are only a couple of reasons why he would have lost his rag like that.
“He indicated something was said to him, which is poor I’m afraid.”
Oldham’s medical team will be stretched at training tonight when a long list of injured players will be monitored and assessed.
They include Richard Lepori (ankle), Scott Leatherbarrow (shin), Jack Spencer (groin), Gareth Owen (foot), Danny Grimshaw (hamstring) and Michael Ward (ankle).
Scott Turner, who suffered concussion in the Dewsbury game last Wednesday, will see a neuro-surgeon and take a head test before he can play again because he has suffered similar injuries previously this season.
Toulouse Olympique, Sunday’s visitors to Bower Fold, have signed Catalans Dragons half-back Louis Jouffret on dual-reg as they look to secure a place in the Qualifiers.
He made his debut in the French side’s shock 34-22 defeat at Dewsbury on Sunday.