Harinordoquy’s father stops Top 14 Rugby match

French rugby international Imanol Harinordoquy’s father brought the Basque derby between Biarritz and Bayonne to a halt after running onto the pitch to defend his son.

Harinordoquy’s father came down from the stands in the sixth minute of the clash in Biarritz and faced up to Bayonne flanker Jean-Jo Marmouyet after his son got involved in a punch-up far from the action.

Harinordoquy senior’s admirable sense of family loyalty was brought to an abrupt halt by Bayonne fly-half Benjamin Boyet, who tackled him to the ground before Biarritz hooker Benoit August stepped in to restore order.

Christian Gajan, Bayonne’s director of rugby, was outraged by Harinordoquy’s father’s behavior.

“I find his behavior deplorable, that he came onto the pitch to defend his son by boxing with Marmouyet at the beginning of the match,” he said.

“You could have been mistaken for believing it was a youth match between two local villages. It was a scandalous episode.”

The 31-year-old Imanol Harinordoquy is a 1.92m, 105kg forward known as one of the toughest customers in the sport. The veteran of three World Cups preferred not to comment on the incident.

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