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Anglesea Cleared for Connacht Game.

Anglesea Cleared for Connacht Game.

Sale Sharks back-row Peter Anglesea has had his appeal – to a 12 month ban for eye-gouging – upheld, thus clearing the way for the 29 year old to play against Connacht tomorrow.

Sale Sharks back-row Peter Anglesea has had his appeal – to a 12-month ban for eye-gouging – upheald, thus clearing the way for the 29-year-old to play against Connacht tomorrow in the Parker Pen Shield at the Galway Sportsground (2.30). The decision of the was based on the finding that he ‘did not deliberately cause any injuries,’ to Newcastle Falcons flanker Jon Dunbar.

Anglesea had initially been served up with the year long ban after allegedly gouging Dunbar in Sale’s win over Newcastle on September 8, but after an appeal which included evidence from an ophthalmic specialist, the hearing heard that Dunbar’s injuries were not consistent with gouging.

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A statement from the RFU said: “Pete Anglesea accepts that he must have caused the injury, but has no recollection of the incident. Upon viewing the video he says that he was carrying out techniques which had been coached to counter the so-called squeeze ball. He says that, in effect, in scrabbling for the ball his finger poked into Jon Dunbar’s eye. We make no criticism of Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club for bringing this case. It is clear that Jon Dunbar sustained an injury to his eye and felt rightly aggreived. In the heat of the moment he believed that the injury to him had been caused deliberately.

Speaking after the hearing at Twickenham which saw the appeal upheld, Sale chairman Quentin Smith said “This is a vindication not a celebration. We are not saying that we are delighted to have got the result but we are satisfied there has been a thorough investigation. We were optimistic because Peter has received a lot of support from within the game and we were also able to garner expert evidence.”

Connacht. G Duffy; P Duignan, D Yapp, T Allnutt. W Munn; E Elwood, E Reddan; D McFarland, T Kearns, P Bracken; R Frost. D Browne; J Charlie, P Neville, C Rigney.

Replacements. F McCormack, H Bourke, A Maher, M Swift, J Ferris, M McHugh, M McPhail.