SANZAR lose Hooper ban appeal

Date published: August 2 2015

Michael Hooper is free to face New Zealand this weekend after SANZAR's appeal over his one-week ban was dismissed.

A SANZAR Appeals Committee, chaired by Jannie Lubbe SC (South Africa) and comprising Terry Willis (Australia) and Mike Heron QC (New Zealand) unanimously dismissed both appeals brought by SANZAR and The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) on behalf of Michael Hooper. 

The Committee dismissed the ARU appeal on behalf of Michael Hooper on the basis that the appellant was unable to show that the Judicial Officer erred in law in finding that Hooper's striking of Nicolas Sanchez from Argentina was a breach of Law 10.4 (a).

The Committee also dismissed the appeal brought by SANZAR that the Judicial Officer's sanction of one week was unduly lenient. The Committee found the Judicial Officer was correct in the exercise of his discretion that the offending was low-end. 

As such, the player's suspension from all forms of the game for one week was confirmed.

Hooper was registered to play for Manly in this weekend's Shute Shield clashes, meaning his suspension has been served and he can be selected by Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika for next Saturday's Rugby Championship decider in Sydney.