Bortolami gets two-week ban

Date published: October 20 2015

Zebre lock Marco Bortolami has been banned for two weeks for striking an opponent with the knee during Friday's loss to Connacht.

Prior to the hearing, Bortolami accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but argued that it had not been serious enough to have warranted a red card (so that no sanction should be imposed).

The disciplinary committee, chaired by Roger Morris, alongside Robert Williams and Gwyn Bowden (all Wales), having viewed the video clip of the incident, listened to evidence and representations from the player, and reviewed all of the other evidence, agreed with Bortolami's admission that he had committed an act of foul play. 

The disciplinary committee then considered whether the act of foul play had warranted a red card and found that it had warranted a red card.

They then turned to consider what would be the appropriate sanction. In assessing the seriousness of Bortolami's conduct, the disciplinary committee considered that it merited a lower-end entry point based on World Rugby's scale of seriousness, which is a three-week suspension.

The disciplinary committee found that there were no aggravating factors, but that there were a number of mitigating factors (including the player's exemplary disciplinary record over a long career) and accordingly reduced the sanction by one week, so that the player is suspended for a total of two weeks, up to and including Sunday 1 November 2015.