Following an appeal lodged against the 10-week suspension imposed on him after his sending off during Agen’s Challenge Cup, Round of 16 match against Benetton Rugby, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi was granted a new disciplinary hearing by an independent Appeal Committee.

The new hearing before an independent Appeal Committee comprising Sir James Dingemans (England), Chair, Leon Lloyd (England) and Yannick Jauzion (France) took place by video conference on Monday (26 April).

Taulagi had been shown a red card by the referee, Christophe Ridley (England), in the 62nd minute of the match for tackling the Benetton Rugby centre, Marco Zanon, in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.13.

Law 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent dangerously
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 relating to dangerous tackling carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

The Appeal Committee considered video imagery of the incident and heard evidence and submissions from Taulagi, who accepted the red card decision, from his legal representative, Ben Cisneros, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the red card decision, finding that Taulagi had made contact with Zanon’s head in a dangerous manner which caused the Benetton player to be removed from the field of play with a suspected concussion.

It was then determined that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby’s sanctions and 12 weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point. There were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the fact that the player accepted the charge, as well as his timely expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by two weeks before imposing a 10-week suspension.

The exact date of the completion of the suspension will be clarified once all Agen’s remaining fixtures in the TOP 14 are scheduled.

Notes

Independent Appeal Committee
a) Following the decision(s) of an independent Disciplinary Committee and/or an independent Judicial Officer, all parties (the club, player(s), individuals and EPCR) have the right to appeal the decision(s).
b) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Mike Hamlin.
c) Members of the independent Disciplinary Committee or the independent Judicial Officer who issued the decision(s) being challenged by the appeal may not sit on the independent Appeal Committee.
d) The full written decision of the Appeal Hearing will be made available on epcrugby.com/discipline/decisions at a later date when it has been completed and issued to all parties.