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Earls Suspended For Two Weeks

Earls Suspended For Two Weeks

Munster winger Keith Earls has been suspended for two weeks following an independent disciplinary hearing in London today, arising from the Champions Cup round 2 match between the province and Glasgow Warriors.

Keith Earls was sent off by referee Jerome Garces for a dangerous tackle on Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown in the 19th minute of the game at Thomond Park in contravention of Law 10.4 (j).

Law 10.4 (j) Dangerous tackling

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Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (j), Lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player’s head and/or upper body into the ground while the player’s feet are off the ground, carries the following sanction entry points – low end: 4 weeks; mid-range: 8 weeks; top end: 12 to 52 weeks.

An independent disciplinary committee consisting of Mike Hamlin (England), Chairman, Roddy Dunlop QC (Scotland) and Andrea Caranci (Italy) heard evidence and submissions from Earls, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Munster team manager Niall O’Donovan, from Munster’s legal representative Derek Hegarty, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the red card decision, the committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.

As there were no aggravating factors, the committee then reduced the sanction by a maximum of two weeks due to Earls’ timely guilty plea, expression of remorse and clean disciplinary record before imposing a suspension of two weeks.

The Limerick man will be free to play on Monday, November 7. Both Earls and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.