Saints duo handed suspensions

Wed, 31 May 2017 14:07
Large tom wood saints tackled 800

NEWS: Northampton Saints' Tom Wood and centre Rory Hutchinson were handed six-week and two-week suspensions respectively following their Champions Cup Play-off final against Stade Francais.

Wood was sent off by referee John Lacey for stamping on Stade Francais fullback Djibril Camara in the 63rd minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (b).
 
Law 10.4 (b) Stamping or Trampling
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (b), Stamping or trampling on an opponent, carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 12 to 52 weeks.
 
An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of David Martin (Ireland) Chairman, Andrea Caranci (Italy) and Roddy Dunlop QC (Scotland) heard submissions from Wood, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Northampton Saints legal representative, Richard Smith QC, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
 
The Committee upheld the red card decision and found that Wood's stamp resulted in reckless contact with Camara's head. The Committee then decided that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.
 
Taking into account Wood's guilty plea, expression of remorse and good disciplinary record, the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50 percent before imposing a six-week suspension.
 
Wood's period of suspension will include England's tour of Argentina and Northampton Saints' warm-up matches in advance of the 2017/18 season. He is, therefore, free to play on Monday, August 28. 
 
Hutchinson was cited by the match citing commissioner, Peter Ferguson (Ireland), for tackling Stade Francais scrumhalf Will Genia while he was jumping for the ball in the 61st minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (i).
 
Law 10.4 (i) Tackling an opponent jumping for the ball
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (i), Tackling an opponent jumping for the ball in open play, carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 4 weeks; Mid-range: 8 weeks; Top end: 12 to 52 weeks.
 
An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of David Martin (Ireland) Chairman, Andrea Caranci (Italy) and Roddy Dunlop QC (Scotland), heard submissions from Hutchinson, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Northampton Saints legal representative, Richard Smith QC, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
 
In upholding the citing complaint, the Committee determined that the tackle was dangerous and that it warranted a red card. The Committee then decided that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.
 
Taking into account Hutchinson's guilty plea, his clean disciplinary record, his youth and inexperience, the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50 percent before imposing a two-week suspension.
 
As Northampton Saints have no matches in the coming weeks, Hutchinson will not be eligible for the Premiership Sevens on July 28 and 29 and will be free to play on Monday, July 31. 

Both players and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.
 
Regarding the citing complaint against Stade Francais replacement hooker Craig Burden, Simon Thomas (Wales) has been appointed as the independent Judicial Officer for the hearing which will take place by video conference on June 1.
 
Burden is alleged to have charged into a ruck making contact with the neck and head area of Northampton Saints scrumhalf Nic Groom in the 45th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (h). The complaint was made by the match Citing Commissioner, Peter Ferguson (Ireland).
 
Law 10.4 (h) Charging into a ruck or maul
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (h), Charging into a ruck or maul without use of the arms, or without grasping a player, carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

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