Press Release | 14th October 2016

Dear Players, Supporters, Sponsors and Members of the Lindfield Rugby Community,

Following the events of the past few months, last night, Lindfield Rugby Club conducted an independent Internal Disciplinary Hearing (IDH) to review the actions of Patrick Lang and Adam Coughlan in accordance with the club’s constitution. The IDH committee comprised a cross-section of LRU Members and the hearing was conducted in a fair and just manner, independent of the sanctions issued by the NSWSRU.

The IDH committee would like to thank both parties for their honesty and contrition towards the impact their actions have had on the LRU Community and we appreciate their desire to move forward for the benefit of the club and the game of rugby itself.

Notwithstanding, the IDH felt it necessary to demonstrate to our members and the wider community that it takes these matters very seriously and that strong action was necessary to deter such events from occurring in the future. As such, the following sanctions have been handed down:

  • Patrick Lang (Recruitment Manager);
    • Five (5) Year suspension from holding any coaching or committee position reduced to Three (3) Years after consideration of long-term contributions to the club.
    • One (1) Year suspension from playing.
  • Adam Coughlan (1st Grade Coach)
    • Two (2) Year suspension from holding any coaching or committee position reduced to One (1) Year after consideration of long-term contributions to the club.

The sanctions are to be served independently and concurrently of the NSWSRU sanctions and do not in any way preclude both parties from appealing those sanctions in the future should they so desire.


In the interest of moving on swiftly, all sanctions were handed down at the conclusion of last night’s hearing and both parties accepted the offer to respond publically, offering the following statements:

Patrick Lang (Recruitment Manager)


Throughout my tenure as President and more recently as Recruitment Manager, I always tried to have the best interests of the club at heart. No malice or disrepute was ever intended to be brought by me upon the Club or its members, I simply wanted to help the club through a rough patch. However, this does not excuse my actions and I accept that I did the wrong thing. I acknowledge that I made an error in judgment and I would like to apologise unreservedly to all of those people who have been affected by this matter, especially to all of coaches and players of 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade in 2016. It is something that will be difficult for me to make up for, but I hope that I can do so at some point in time in the future. Finally, I would like to thank the Appeals Committee for their recent efforts in getting the club on a level playing field for next season and I accept the sanctions handed on me by the Club. I wish the incoming LRU committee all the best for the 2017 season and look forward to supporting Lindfield Rugby for many years to come.

Club Contributions

Played: 2009-2016

President: 2014-2015

Sponsorship Manager: 2013 & 2016

Colts Coach (Robertson Cup): 2013-2014 (Premiership 2014)

Adam Coughlan (1st Grade Coach)


I want to sincerely thank the appeals sub-committee for their tireless work over the past 3 months in dealing with this issue. I am extremely pleased that our club will start 2017 season on an equal basis with all the other clubs in the competition. I also want to apologise to the players, coaches, committee, sponsors and supporters of Lindfield. I deeply regret my involvement in this incident. To the players that were on the cusp and playing finals in 2016 I am very sorry. Finals are a special time of the season in any player’s career and to have that taken away from you is something that I cannot make up for. Whilst I serve the sentence imposed by NSWSRU and the club I will look to have an ongoing positive involvement with our club, hopefully for many years to come.

Club Contributions

Played: 1992-1998 (3rd Grade Blunt Cup Premiership 1997)

3rd Grade Coach (Blunt Cup): 2004 (Premiership / LRU Coach of the Year)

Rugby Director: 2005

2nd Grade Manager (Stockdale Cup): 2015

1st Grade Coach (Kentwell Cup): 2016


The Appeals Committee and Independent Disciplinary Hearing Committee now consider these matters to be closed.

We thank everyone for their ongoing support over the past few months and ask that it continues as we push into season 2017 and beyond. It’s going to be one of the most important in the club’s 98-year



Yours in rugby,

Tristan Warner

Appeals Sub Committee Chairman

Former President (2007-2009)