15-week gouging ban for Raisuqe

Date published: January 13 2016

Stade Français winger Josaia Raisuqe has been suspended for 15 weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in the Champions Cup rescheduled Round 2 match against Munster on Saturday.

Raisuqe was sent off by referee, Nigel Owens (Wales), in the 41st minute of the match at Stade Jean Bouin for making contact with the eye(s) and/or eye area of the Munster number eight CJ Stander in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).

Law 10.4 (m) Contact with the eye(s) and/or eye area

Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m), Contact with the eye(s) and/or eye area carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 12 weeks; Mid-Range: 18 weeks; Top End: 24 to 208 weeks.

The independent Judicial Officer, Simon Thomas (Wales), heard evidence and submissions from Raisuqe, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Stade Français chief executive, Pierre Arnald, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the red card decision, the Judicial Officer found that Raisuqe had committed an intentional act of foul play. He determined that that offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 18 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

He added three weeks as a deterrent according to World Rugby's memorandum regarding offences of this nature, before reducing the sanction by one third of the entry point (ie. six weeks) due to Raisuqe's guilty plea, good conduct at the hearing, expression of remorse and youth and inexperience. He then imposed a suspension of 15 weeks.

Raisuqe is free to play on Monday, May 9. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.