Worcester flanker banned for two weeks

Date published: December 23 2016

Worcester Warriors flanker Sam Betty has been suspended for two weeks following an incident of foul play in his side’s Challenge Cup clash with the Dragons last week.

Betty was sent off by referee, David Wilkinson (Ireland), for striking Dragons flanker, Nick Crosswell, in the 15th minute of the match at Rodney Parade in contravention of Law 10.4 (a).

Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (a) Striking with a hand, arm or fist, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-Range: 5 weeks; Top End: 8 to 52 weeks.

The independent Judicial Officer, Rod McKenzie (Scotland), heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Betty, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Worcester Warriors legal representative, Sam Jones, from the Worcester Warriors Head of Rugby Recruitment, Jan McGinity, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the red card decision, the Judicial Officer found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and he selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.

While taking into account Betty’s guilty plea, good disciplinary record and expression of remorse, the Judicial Officer decided that there were not sufficient mitigating factors to warrant a reduction of the sanction and he imposed a two-week suspension.

Betty is free to play on Monday, 2 January 2017. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.