Rovers Scholarship coach fined by RFL

Hull KR’s Scholarship head coach Ben Cockayne has been fined £2,000 for repeatedly breaching the RFL’s social media, safeguarding and Covid-19 policies.

The 37-year-old former Rovers player has been outspoken during the pandemic and vaccine roll-out.

And his comments have been deemed irresponsible for a youth coach in a position of trust.

In one tweet, Cockayne discussed the safety of the chemical ethylene oxide, which is used to sterilise lateral flow tests.

He wrote: “If you have kids in school getting tested you might wanna check this before they get anything else shoved up their nose into their heads (thumbs up emoji).”

The fine takes into account his previous social media indiscretions, and Cockayne, who also played for Hunslet, Doncaster, Featherstone, Wakefield and York, has been told further offences will result in his suitability to work with young people being questioned.

The RFL said in a statement: “Ben Cockayne, Scholarship head coach at Hull Kingston Rovers, has been fined £2,000 for repeated breaches of the RFL’s social media, safeguarding and Covid-19 policies.

“During 2020 and 2021, Cockayne has used Twitter to voice controversial views about the virus and related testing and vaccine arrangements – views considered incompatible with his responsibility for the development and welfare of young Rugby League players.

“Cockayne had previously been warned that such conduct was prejudicial to the interests of the game and fined £1,000, with £500 suspended. The latest fine includes this suspended amount.

“Any further transgressions will be referred to an operational rules tribunal and to the RFL’s safeguarding case management group for consideration of his suitability to work with children and young people.”

Meanwhile, Rovers have confirmed the signing of St Helens’ Australian fullback Lachlan Coote, originally revealed by the League’s Express website, on a two-year deal to start next season.

Rovers’ scheduled home Super League clash with Warrington on Sunday was postponed due to Covid issues in the camp – their third successive match to be hit.

Tony Smith’s side are due to host derby rivals Hull on Thursday.

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