RICHARD Squires, coach of League 1 club Midlands Hurricanes, has been suspended by the Rugby Football League for three months after breaching the game's rules on betting.

Squires' ban takes effect from Monday but one month of the sentence has been suspended until the end of 2023, which means he will be eligible to return to the game on July 9.

The RFL says it was alerted in March that Squires had been betting on rugby league matches, including those involving his own club, and a compliance investigation found him guilty of breaching a number of operational rules.

The league says the leniency of the sentence reflects the fact that Squires complied fully and quickly with the case, accepted his guilt from the outset and showed regret for his actions during a period when he was suffering personal problems.

The league also accepts he did not bet against his own club, which changed its name from Coventry Bears at the start of the 2022 season, and that he has not made any profit on bets placed on rugby league matches.

A statement from the Hurricanes said: "Both the club and Richard have been fully cooperative with the RFL over recent weeks in concluding their investigation and Richard admitted full guilt and accountability for his actions during this process.

"Richard has expressed his utmost apologies for any disrepute that has been brought upon the club, the RFL or the game of Rugby League and although he cannot erase his historic mistakes he takes full responsibility for them.

"Richard is a huge part of the club's history, progression and future and as a club we will continue to support him through this process and time away from the game before his return to the club on July 9."