Francois Louw suspended for three weeks
The Bath Rugby flanker, Francois Louw, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London today (Wednesday, 18 October) arising from his club’s Champions Cup, Round 1 match against Benetton Rugby at The Recreation Ground.
— The Oval Office (@theovaloffice10) October 14, 2017
Louw was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Tim Lowry (Ireland), for making contact with the eye area of the Benetton Rugby second row, Marco Fuser, in the 77th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).
Law 10.4 (m) Contact with the eye area
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m), contact with the eye area, 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 Antony Davies (England), Chairman, Achille Reali (Italy) and Becky Essex (England), viewed video evidence and heard submissions from Louw, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Bath Rugby’s legal representative, Sam Jones, and from the club’s Team Manager, Sophie Bennett. The Committee also heard submissions from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence warranted a red card. The Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.
There were no aggravating factors, however, as Louw did not have a clean disciplinary record, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by only one week before imposing a suspension of three weeks.
Louw is free to play on Monday, 6 November and both the player and the EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.