O’Brien escapes with one-week ban

Date published: October 14 2015

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Ireland flank Sean O’Brien has been suspended for one week for punching France lock Pascal Papé in their World Cup clash at the Millennium Stadium last Sunday. 

O’Brien was cited by independent Citing Commissioner Dougie Hunter (Scotland) under Law 10.4(a) for striking with the hand, arm or fist during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D match in Cardiff.

O’Brien admitted committing an act of foul play and therefore the independent Judicial Officer Terry Willis (Australia) upheld the citing.

Willis conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence from the player and submissions from his legal representative.

With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks.

The Judicial Officer considered that there were no aggravating factors. The Judicial Officer took into account compelling mitigating factors including O’Brien’s conduct prior to and at the hearing, his remorse, good character and clean disciplinary record, and reduced the suspension to a period of one week.

In the context of the Rugby World Cup tournament a week equates to one match. 

The suspension takes effect immediately, therefore O’Brien is suspended for Ireland’s quarter-final match against Argentina on Sunday, 18 October.

He is free to resume playing on 19 October, 2015.

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