The International Rugby Board has announced that it is investigating measures to ensure that the illegal act of eye gouging is eradicated from the game.
The International Rugby Board is firmly of the view that there is no place in rugby for illegal or foul play and the act of eye gouging is particularly heinous.
In light of recent high profile cases, the IRB is launching a review of the existing disciplinary sanction structure relating to contact with the eye or eye area in order to send out the strongest possible message that such acts of illegal or foul play will not be tolerated.
These acts have no place in a game that has at its core the pillars of fair play, respect and camaraderie.
The IRB has also written to the Chairman of the IRB Judicial Panel to underscore its concerns regarding all incidents of eye gouging and a memorandum will be issued to all Independent Judicial Officers reinforcing the IRB’s disciplinary policy.
Under existing IRB Disciplinary Regulations, only the player may appeal independent judicial decisions.
In light of recent cases, the IRB will review whether the scope of the appeal should in the future extend to other appropriate parties, including the IRB itself.
The IRB works tirelessly with all 116 Member Unions and key stakeholders to ensure that the safety of players and the reputation of the game is protected.