THE INTERNATIONAL Rugby Board is considering changing its disciplinary procedure after Frenchman Aurelien Rougerie allegedly eye-gouged All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw in last month’s Rugby World Cup final.
Rougerie escaped punishment for his act of foul play – despite television footage from host broadcaster SKY Sports showing the centre headbutting and raking the eyes and face of a prone McCaw during the latter stages of the game.
The IRB’s independent citing commissioner, Scott Nowland, found that while the subsequent television footage indicated an act of foul play may have taken place, he was unable to take any action as the new material emerged outside the official 36-hour citing review period.
“Mr Nowland has determined that he cannot cite the alleged act of foul play as the footage emerged outside the citing period and he is unable to bring the matter within the exceptional circumstances provisions contained in the Tournament Disciplinary Rules which deal principally with mistaken identity and where further time is required to identify a player who may have committed an act of foul play,” said the IRB in a statement.
However, the game’s governing body will consider extending the citing period or tweaking the meaning of exceptional circumstance.
“The IRB and Rugby World Cup Limited take all acts of foul play seriously.
“The on-going review of regulation 17 governing the disciplinary process will give consideration to Tournament Rules and IRB Regulations to consider either extending the citing periods or widening the remit of the exceptional circumstance provisions to deal with the emergence of evidential materials following the elapse of the citing period.”« Back to Archives
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