BT Sport commentator and former England international Austin Healey has hit out at rugby’s disciplinary system at the end of a controversial week for the sport in England.
“Whether a player does charity work or whether they are a raving alcoholic when they get home after a game should have no bearing on the ban they receive for an offence,” wrote Healey in his column for the Telegraph.
“Rugby union’s disciplinary process has been a farce for years. It’s a very mechanical thing with a flow-chart framework that enables members of the disciplinary panel not to make too many mistakes. It saves them from using too much subjectivity.
“But at the third stage of this flowchart, there is a sentence which mentions “any other off-field aggravating factors”. That is the interesting one for me.”
He continued: “Eddie Jones also gave a statement in defence of Owen Farrell. There should be no influence from unions, either. Clubs and unions should pay a nominal fee for the disciplinary process to be managed and governed completely independently, perhaps by World Rugby.
“Then there is no way for anyone else to manipulate it. And then, finally, this farce can be put in the stocks.”
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