European Professional Club Rugby | Disciplinary update

The Saracens prop, Alec Clarey, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against Lyon at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland.

Clarey was sent off by the referee, Frank Murphy (Ireland), in the 66th minute of the match for tackling the Lyon replacement back row, Arno Botha, in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.13.

Law 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent dangerously
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 relating to dangerous tackling carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Tommy Dalton (Ireland), Chair, Achille Reali (Italy) and Jonathan Walters (Wales) considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Clarey, who accepted the red card decision, from the Saracens Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, from the Saracens Team Manager, Warrick Lang, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee upheld the red card decision finding that Clarey had tackled Botha in a dangerous manner and it determined that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

Due to the player’s clear disciplinary record and his guilty plea, it was decided to grant him the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.

Clarey is free to play on Monday, 9 January 2023, however, if he applies for and successfully completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday, 2 January 2023.

Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Alex Lozowski suspended for one week

The Saracens centre, Alex Lozowski, has been suspended for one week following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against Lyon at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland.

Lozowski was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Ciaran Scally (Ireland), for striking the Lyon back row, Theo William, with his hand or arm in the 41st minute in contravention of Law 9.12.

Law 9.12 A player must not physically abuse anyone.
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 relating to striking with the hand or arm carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Tommy Dalton (Ireland), Chair, Achille Reali (Italy) and Jonathan Walters (Wales) considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Lozowski, who accepted that he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card, from the Saracens Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, from the Saracens Team Manager, Warrick Lang, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee upheld the citing complaint finding that Lozowski’s strike had warranted a red card and it determined that the offending was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and two weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

Due to the player’s good disciplinary record and his guilty plea, it was decided to grant him the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by one week before imposing a one-week suspension.

Lozowski is free to play on Monday, December 26, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Agustin Creevy decision appeal

The London Irish hooker, Agustin Creevy, is appealing against the four-week suspension imposed on him by an independent Disciplinary Committee following his sending off during his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 1 match against Montpellier Hérault Rugby at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Creevy was shown a red card by the referee, Andrea Piardi (Italy), in the 33rd minute of the match for tackling the Montpellier Hérault Rugby full back, Anthony Bouthier, in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.13.

The appeal will be heard by video conference this evening (Tuesday, 20 December) by an independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Roger Morris (Wales), Chair, Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Marcello d’Orey (Portugal).

Notes

(i) Red Cards
a) The case of any player sent off in Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup matches shall be adjudicated by an independent Disciplinary Committee or an independent Judicial Officer as soon as is practicable.
b) Until the hearing the player is ineligible to play in any tournament.
(ii) Citing Commissioner
a) Citing Commissioners are appointed by EPCR for all Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner’s opinion warranted a red card.
b) For such matches, clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 26 hours of the start of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 26 hours from the start of the match to make a citing. Under certain circumstances this deadline can be extended.
d) The tournament Disciplinary Officer may forward the submitted citing to a Citing Officer to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the citing to progress.
e) The Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
(iii) Disciplinary Hearing
a) The independent Disciplinary Committee or independent Judicial Officer are chosen by the chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Mike Hamlin.
b) EPCR’s Disciplinary Officer presents the case against the player.
c) If a decision is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer will be required to consider the appropriate sanction under World Rugby’s sanctioning regime, which EPCR is obliged to follow. The seriousness of the player’s actions will be first assessed in order to determine which of the three stipulated entry points (lower end, mid-range and top end) is the most appropriate.
d) The Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer will determine the appropriate entry point based on an assessment of a number of particular characteristics of the player’s actions, including whether or not they were intentional, whether or not they caused any injuries and whether or not they had any effect on the relevant match.
e) After deciding the entry point, the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer will then consider whether the suspension should be increased from the entry point to take account of certain specified aggravating factors, such as a poor disciplinary record or the need for deterrence, and/ or decreased from the entry point to take account of certain specified mitigating actions, such as a guilty plea, a good disciplinary record, the player’s conduct at the hearing and expressions of remorse.
f) A suspension is a blanket ban from playing rugby union anywhere in the world. Players are suspended on the basis that a one-week period of suspension would ordinarily result in a player missing one match. Suspensions take into account periods of inactivity (such as the close season), periods when a player is injured or otherwise not fit to play, and when a player is not available or not expected to play. Suspensions should also take into account any out-of-season matches which are not considered to be meaningful, or which are not close enough to the season to be a determining factor in a player’s future selection.
g) Both parties to the hearing (EPCR and the player) have the right to appeal decisions. Appeals must be lodged within three (3) working days of receiving the full written decision of the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer.
h) The full written decision will be available on www.epcrugby.com/european-professional-club-rugby/discipline-news/hearing-decisions/ when the disciplinary process is complete.
i) For World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, found at Appendix 2 to World Rugby Regulation 17, go to world rugby

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *