Aussies slam 'unfair' IRB

Wed, 03 Jul 2013 10:14
Large james horwill down Large bill pulver aru Large james horwill face emotion Large bill pulver media Large james horwill media

Australian officials are demanding a review of the legal process that left captain James Horwill "in complete and utter mental disarray".

Australian officials are demanding a review of the legal process that left captain James Horwill "in complete and utter mental disarray", disrupting Australia's preparations for the series-deciding third Test against the British and Irish Lions.

Australia Rugby Union Chief Executive Bill Pulver accused the International Rugby Board of overseeing a lengthy procedure that was at the very least "problematic".

"I simply have a problem with the double-jeopardy concept of being tried twice for essentially the same issue," Pulver said Wednesday.

"I'll be writing the IRB - in fairness to the IRB they've operated well within the laws as defined - I just think it needs to be reviewed and I would like to see it changed."

Horwill was Tuesday cleared of foul play for allegedly stamping on the head of Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones, which would have ruled him out of Saturday's series decider against the British and Irish Lions in Sydney.

The skipper, who shed tears after last weekend's 16-15 win over the tourists, had already been cleared once by a judicial officer the day after losing the first Test in Brisbane on June 22.

But he took the field for the second Test in Melbourne under a cloud, with the IRB challenging his acquittal in an unprecedented appeal.

Pulver said he was "uncomfortable with the process around that judicial review", describing the lengthy period between the initial allegation of stamping and Horwill's ultimate acquittal as "unacceptable leading into a Test match".

Independent appeal officer Graeme Mew dismissed the IRB challenge after a two-and-a-half-hour video conference hearing from Toronto and nearly 12 hours of deliberation.

Canadian arbitrator Mew upheld the original decision, saying there had been "no misapprehension of law or principle" proven and no evidence that the (first) acquittal was unreasonable.

Mew said the IRB appeal had been appropriate to safeguard player welfare and protect the game's image and reputation.

But Pulver said the "drawn-out saga" had left Horwill "in complete and utter mental disarray".

"Proof of that was the image of James on his knees at the end of the [second Test] match [in Melbourne on Saturday]," he said.

"The process is inappropriate, and the trauma and anxiety it caused the player is completely unfair."

Horwill put on a brave face on Tuesday, saying: "I feel very vindicated by the way that it's gone."

He called both hearings "incredibly fair and thorough".

The ARU noted that the IRB had never before intervened to overturn a not guilty verdict against a player.

Australia's Rugby Union Players' Association welcomed the ruling, saying it had been surprised and disappointed at the IRB's appeal, which it described as a "dangerous precedent" with questionable motives.

A unanimous vote at the IRB council a year ago gave the governing body the right to appeal decisions made by disciplinary hearings.

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0