Freddie Steward: England fullback will face no further sanction after his red card against Ireland
Freddie Steward is free to play for Leicester Tigers in the upcoming Premiership and Champions Cup matches after his red card against Ireland in the Six Nations.
Referee Jaco Peyper gave Steward his marching orders in the 40th minute of England’s 29-16 defeat to Ireland.
After a loose pass by Ireland winger Mack Hansen, Steward and opposite fullback Hugo Keenan both charged towards the ball.
The Red Rose back braced for contact as Keenan looked to scoop the ball up and colled with his opposite number.
Peyper deemed Steward to be at fault for the collision and issued the red card, while the Ireland fullback also left the pitch and failed his resulting HIA.
The fullback became the 18th player to be sent off in a Six Nations fixture since 2000 and is the third England player to be red-carded a Championship match.
However, Steward will face no further sanction or suspension as a disciplinary panel has rescinded his red card.
🚨 Freddie Steward's red card has been rescinded 🚨
The panel deemed that “there were sufficient mitigating factors". #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/btcqH8r5IC
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) March 22, 2023
The Six Nations released a statement confirming that Steward is free to play immediately after an independent Disciplinary Committee chose not to uphold his red card.
Steward was red-carded as a result of Peyper concluding that he had acted contrary to Law 9.13, which states: “A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.”
However, the Disciplinary Committee decided that ‘there were sufficient mitigating factors‘ to rescind the red card.
“After hearing the submissions, the Disciplinary Committee formally amended the Law which was breached to Law 9.11 (Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others including leading with the elbow or forearm, or jumping into, or over, a tackler.),” a Six Nations statement read.
“The player denied that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card as described in Law 9.11. Having reviewed all the evidence, the Committee decided that: (i) head contact with an opposing player had occurred; (ii) there had been an act of foul play in breach of Law 9.11 in that the Player had been reckless in his actions and in his upright positioning as he approached and came into highly dangerous contact with the other player; and (iii) there were sufficient mitigating factors including the late change in the dynamics and positioning of the opposing player which should have resulted in the issue of a yellow card rather than a red card.
“On that basis, the Committee did not uphold the red card, and the player is free to play again immediately.
“The Committee acknowledged that match officials are required to make decisions under pressure and in the heat of a live match environment,” the statement concluded.
This means the 22-year-old will be available to Leicester Tigers for their Premiership clash with the high-flying Bristol Bears on Sunday.
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