10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
In this case, the citing was for contact with the eye or the eye area of an Ireland prop Cian Healy during the first half of the match in Dunedin. Ghiraldini admitted a breach of Law 10.4(m), but denied his actions were deliberate.
Ghiraldini was suspended by independent judicial officer Bruce Squire QC (New Zealand) in accordance with the 2011 Rugby World Cup disciplinary process.
Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence available, including all broadcast angles and additional evidence from the player and submissions from his legal representative, the judicial officer found the contact with the eyes of the Healy to be a deliberate act on the part of Ghiraldini and categorised it as 'top end offending', which has an entry point of 24 weeks' suspension.
The judicial officer also took the view there should be an increase on the suspension period prescribed by the entry point for deterrent purposes, noting that increased penalties had not been reflected in any significant reduction in offending of this kind.
However, taking into account particular aspects of the offending in this case and a range of mitigating factors, principally Ghiraldini's previously unblemished record, the judicial officer reduced the period of suspension otherwise arrived at to 15 weeks.
Ghiraldini was accordingly suspended from all rugby up to and including January 17, 2012. He is free to resume playing on January 18.
The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from the time he was informed of the decision.
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