Stade Français duo banned for gouging

Date published: January 27 2016

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Stade Français players Laurent Sempéré and Paul Gabrillagues have been banned for a combined total of 23 weeks for gouging.

Gabrillagues has been suspended for eight weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London on Wednesday.

Gabrillagues was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Peter Ferguson (Ireland), for allegedly making contact with the eye(s) and/or eye area of the Leicester Tigers prop, Dan Cole (No 3), in the 48th minute of the Champions Cup Round 6 match at Stade Jean Bouin on Sunday, January 24.

The independent Judicial Officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Gabrillagues, who accepted that he committed an act of foul play, from the Stade Français Chief Executive, Pierre Arnald, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer found that Gabrillagues had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card. He determined that that offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

He added two weeks as a deterrent according to World Rugby's memorandum regarding offences of this nature, before reducing the sanction by six weeks – 50 percent of the entry point – due to Gabrillagues' guilty plea, good disciplinary record, expression of remorse, youth and inexperience and good conduct at the hearing. He then imposed a suspension of eight weeks.

Gabrillagues is free to play on Monday, March 21. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Sempéré has been suspended for 15 weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London on Wednesday.

Sempéré was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Peter Ferguson (Ireland), for allegedly making contact with the eye(s) and/or eye area of the Leicester Tigers prop, Marcos Ayerza (No 1), in the 34th minute of the Champions Cup Round 6 match at Stade Jean Bouin on Sunday, January 24.

The independent Judicial Officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Sempéré, who did not accept that he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card, from the Stade Français Chief Executive, Pierre Arnald, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Judicial Officer also considered written and verbal statements by Ayerza and photographic evidence of abrasions around Ayerza's eye area.

In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer found that Sempéré had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card. He determined that the 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 six weeks due to Sempéré's good disciplinary record, good character, excellent conduct at the hearing and his expression of concern for Ayerza's welfare.

The Judicial Officer then imposed a suspension of 15 weeks.

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

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.

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