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Arno Botha And Dan Evans Receive Bans Following Red Cards

Dan Evans Arno Botha

Munster back row, Arno Botha, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London today.

The South Africa native received a straight red card during the closing minutes of the club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 3 match against Saracens at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Botha was introduced in the 70th minute as a replacement for CJ Stander but was given his marching orders by referee Romain Poite 10 minutes later for striking Saracens’ replacement Nick Tompkins with his leading arm.

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Dan White (England), Chair, Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Marcello d’Orey (Portugal), considered imagery of the incident, and heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Botha, who accepted the red card decision, from Munster Rugby’s legal representative, Pat Barriscale, from the Munster Rugby Team Manager, Niall O’Donovan, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the red card decision finding that the act of foul play was reckless. As contact to the head or neck carries a minimum mandatory mid-range sanction, according to World Rugby’s regulations, six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s guilty plea and timely expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing a three-week suspension.

Botha is free to play on Monday, 30 December 2019, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, Ospreys full back, Dan Evans, has been suspended for four weeks after he was red-carded in the first minute of his side’s loss to Racing 92 for striking winger Teddy Thomas with his boot.

The Committee upheld the red card decision finding that the act of foul play was reckless. As contact to the head or neck carries a minimum mandatory mid-range sanction, according to World Rugby’s regulations, eight weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s guilty plea and timely expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing a four-week suspension.

Evans is free to play on Monday, 6 January 2020, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter