Lewis Ludlow suspended, Nathan Hughes left in the dark

Date published: October 11 2018

Wasps back-row Nathan Hughes is still awaiting his fate after his disciplinary hearing for punching an opponent was postponed on Wednesday.

Hughes was cited by independent citing commissioner Andy Blyth following the Wasps v Gloucester Premiership game last Saturday, for punching or striking Gloucester’s Lewis Ludlow contrary to Law 9.12.

The independent disciplinary panel comprised Gareth Graham with Matthew Weaver and Martyn Wood.

Independent panel chair Graham said: “The independent panel appointed to deal with this case will reconvene in not less than seven days in order to deal with an issue that arose during the evening.

“No judgment will be issued by the panel in this period and the panel direct that the player, Wasps Rugby and the RFU are to make no further comment until the case has concluded.

“The player remains suspended until the conclusion of the matter.”

Meanwhile, Ludlow was suspended for four weeks for stamping or trampling Elliot Daly contrary to Law 9.12.

Ludlow contested the charge but was found guilty by the independent disciplinary panel comprising Graham (chair) with Weaver and Wood. Ludlow’s suspension means he is free to play again on Tuesday, 6 November.

Graham said: “The panel accepted that this was a dynamic situation; the incident occurred over a very short period. The player knew that there were bodies on the floor and, in counter-rucking, attempted to step over them.

“In so doing, he ran the risk that he may commit an act of foul play by making contact with the head or body of an opposition player. By stepping on the opposition player, his actions fell squarely within the definition of a reckless act under the RFU Regulations. The panel found that this act of foul play passed the red card threshold.

“The mandatory entry point for contact to the head is mid-range under the sanction table; a ban of six weeks. The player did not accept the charge. He expressed remorse for his actions and had positive character references.

“While he has one previous matter on his record, it was four years old. The panel felt that on balance, taking into account all factors, they could reduce the overall sanction by two weeks to take account of his mitigation. He is free to play again on the 6 November.”