Top 14 Orange
Harinordoquy's father apologises
ESPNscrum Staff
November 30, 2011
Imanol Harinordoquy's dad storms on to the field to defend his son
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Players/Officials: Imanol Harinordoquy
Tournaments/Tours: Top 14 Orange
Teams: Bayonne | Biarritz | France

Imanol Harinordoquy's father has apologised after invading the pitch during the Basque derby on Tuesday.

Lucien Harinordoquy was outraged after he saw his son involved in a brawl off the ball during Biarritz's clash with Bayonne and took matters into his own hands. He stormed down from the stands to face up to Bayonne flanker Jean-Jo Marmouyet in the sixth minute of the match but fly-half Benjamin Boyet was less than ceremonious as he threw him to the ground. And Lucien has released a statement on the Biarritz website apologising for his actions.

"I apologise to the fans present at Aguilera, from Bayonne and Biarritz, to the two teams and their staff, to the National Rugby League (LNR), the French Rugby Federation (FFR) and the rugby world in general," he said. "Under pressure for various reasons, I lost all control. I regret having behaved in such a manner during such a festival of rugby."

Biarritz have confirmed that they accepted his apology and stated that they "hope that it will be the same for all the other parties involved". However, Bayonne seem to have taken a dim view of the incident and their president Michel Cacouault branded it "unacceptable" and confirmed that Bayonne would file a complaint against both Biarritz and Harinordoquy senior.

Christian Gajan, Bayonne's director of rugby, was outraged by the behaviour saying: "I find his behaviour deplorable, that he came onto the pitch to defend his son by boxing with Marmouyet at the beginning of the match. You could have been forgiven for thinking it was a youth match between two local villages. It was a scandalous episode."

Imanol chose not to comment on the matter.

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