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Rugby league star pictured with noose around neck in sick snap that tells players to ‘bully him’ as probe launched

RUGBY league chiefs have launched a full investigation into claims a coach told his players to deliberately target an opponent’s injured shoulder – and he was pictured with a noose around his neck.

An incident that led former England international Oliver Gildart to sum up ‘the sport’s on its a**e.’

Rugby League star Nick Gregson has made the accusation against Swinton’s Alan Kilshaw

Kilshaw has been accused of ‘targeting’ Gregson’s injured shoulder, he says the club has started a legal process[/caption]

Widnes’ Nick Gregson made the accusation against Swinton’s Alan Kilshaw after Sunday’s 24-12 Championship defeat.

An image of him with a noose around his neck and the caption ‘bully him’, that supposedly came from Kilshaw’s notes, has been circulated.

Now Rugby Football League bosses have started a full-scale probe into the allegations – particularly those that Kilshaw shouted it during the match – which could see the Lions chief heavily fined or banned if found guilty.

Gregson, 28, claimed: “Target my injured shoulder, which he kept shouting in the game I’ve been told.

“I am probably done for the 2024 season now after it coming out again and maybe even my time at Widnes, who knows?

“But I go out to provide for my family and enjoy myself with my mates.

“To see a picture of me with a noose around my neck and have the coach of a club I have given a lot too openly want to injure me and probably other players also is outrageous.

“We play probably the toughest game of all for not much money and have to have a full-time job on top of that.

“But there is more to life than rugby league and that’s just not something I want any part of if that’s deemed acceptable.”

Following the allegations, Hull KR star Gildart, who played alongside Gregson at Wigan, said: “No wonder the sport’s on its a**e.”

SunSport understands Kilshaw and his staff will be given their chance to voice their side to RFL investigators, as well as other witnesses.

And Swinton said: “We refute the accuracy of these allegations and we are in contact with the RFL and our solicitors.”

Former Super League side Widnes added: “We have made a formal complaint to the RFL, who have acknowledged it and are launching a full investigation.

“The club is 100 per cent behind Nick and is offering him whatever support he needs. In view of the now ongoing investigation, the club will be making no further comment.”

When SunSport approached Kilshaw, he said: “The club has started in the legal process. I’ll let that take its full course, then I’ll get the right of reply.”

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