Rugby Union's most banned XV: The notorious Bad Boys!

Rugby Union’s most banned XV: The notorious Bad Boys!


Was handed a 14-week ban for a horrific-looking eye gouge on opposing winger Armand Battle. Not one for the faint-hearted.

Scrum-half: JULIEN DUPUY

The Ulster-Stade Francais Heineken Cup tie in December 2009 was certainly a volatile affair. While Stade prop David Attoub was banned for 70 weeks for gouging Stephen Ferris, scrum-half Dupuy was also guilty of making contact with the eye of the Irish flanker. His 24-week ban was reduced by one week on appeal.


Springboks prop le Roux was given a hefty ban after biting All Black legend Sean Fitzpatrick’s ear in a Test in Wellington in 1994. He later said: “For an 18-month suspension, I feel I probably should have torn it off. Then at least I could say, ‘look, I’ve returned to South Africa with the guy’s ear’.” Lovely.


Take a deep breath.

April 2007 – banned for 26 weeks after being cited for eye-gouging Wasps forwards James Haskell and Johnny O’Connor.

March 2012 – received an eight-week suspension after being cited for biting the finger of Ireland back row Stephen Ferris while playing for England in a Six Nations game.

December 2012 – banned for two weeks after being cited for punching Ulster hooker Rory Best during a Heineken Cup match.

May 2013 – sent off for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes during the Premiership final against Leicester at Twickenham. Received an 11-week suspension that prevented him from taking his place on the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

December 2014 – sent off for elbowing Leicester centre Matt Smith in the face. Banned for three weeks.

May 2015 – banned for four weeks after head-butting Saracens’ Jamie George in Northampton’s 29-24 Aviva Premiership semi-final defeat to Saracens. As a direct consequence, England ruled Hartley out of their World Cup plans.

December 2016 – sent off for striking Leinster flanker Sean O’Brien with a swinging arm. Suspended for six weeks.


Stade Francais prop Attoub was banned after gouging Ulster’s Stephen Ferris during a stormy Heineken Cup clash at Ravenhill in December 2009.

Ferris told the hearing: “The contact was very strong and extremely painful – the finger in my right eye was forced downward in a poking and gouging motion; it was someone trying to drive a finger as hard as he could into my eye socket and I could not prevent it.” Ouch!