One-week ban for Burger

Date published: April 9 2015

Saracens back row, Jacques Burger, has been suspended for one week following a Disciplinary Hearing on Thursday.
Burger was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Eugene Ryan (Ireland), for allegedly striking the Racing Métro scrum-half Maxime Machenaud in the 40th minute of the Champions Cup quarter-final in contravention of Law 10.4(a).

Law 10.4(a) Striking another player with a hand, arm or fist
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4(a) carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-Range: 5 weeks; Top End: 8 to 52 weeks.
The independent Judicial Officer, Simon Thomas (Wales), heard submissions and evidence from Burger, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall and from the Saracens team manager JP O'Reilly. Submissions and evidence were also presented by the tournament Disciplinary Officer.
In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card, and that it was at the low end (two weeks) of World Rugby's sanctions for offences of this nature.

There were no aggravating factors and he reduced the suspension by the maximum amount of one week due to the player's guilty plea, early expression of remorse, good conduct during the hearing and clean disciplinary record.
The Judicial Officer then imposed a suspension of one week. Burger is free to play on Monday, April 13 and is eligible for selection for his club's Champions Cup semi-final against ASM Clermont Auvergne.
Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.