An independant Appeal Committee will convene in Dublin on Tuesday, 10 January to hear the appeal lodged by the Ospreys on behalf of their player, Gavin Henson, against the 10 weeks and two days suspension imposed by an independent Disciplinary Committee o
n 23 December, 2005, following his citing in the Round 4 Heineken Cup Pool 3 game against Leicester Tigers on Sunday, 18 December.
The independent Appeal Committee will be chaired by Brian McLoughlin (IRFU) and will also comprise Philip Orr (IRFU) and Mike Hamlin (RFU).
The Appeal Committee cannot contain any members of the original independent Disciplinary Committee who heard the citing lodged by the ERC appointed Citing Commissioner for the match, Bill Dunlop (Scotland).
The independent Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Rod McKenzie (SRU) and completed by Dr Barry O'Driscoll (IRFU) and Professor Lorne D. Crerar (SRU), found that Mr Henson had been in contravention of Law: 10.4 (a) - Punching or striking: A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).
Please see notes below regarding an independent Appeal Committee.
ERC DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
(i) Citing Commissioner
a) for live televised games a Citing Commissioner will be appointed by ERC and shall be entitled to cite a Player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner's opinion warranted the player being shown a red card.
b) Clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 12 hours of the conclusion of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the game to make a citing and the determination of the Citing Commissioner will be final and binding.
d) Should the Citing Commissioner decide there is a case to answer he will notify the Disciplinary Officer and the Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
e) This case will then proceed to a disciplinary hearing.
(ii) Citing Officer
a) for non-televised games, where a player is cited by either of the clubs competing in the match, his case shall be immediately referred to the Citing Officer.
b) The citing must be submitted in writing and received by the Citing Officer within 50 hours of the start of the match. The Citing Officer will consider the citing and decide whether the player cited has a case to answer.
c) After this review, if the Citing Officer determines there is no case to answer, no further action will be taken. The determination of the Citing Officer will be final and binding.
d) Should the Citing Officer decide there is a case to answer he will notify the Disciplinary Officer and the Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
e) This case will then proceed to a Disciplinary Hearing.
(iii) Independent Disciplinary Committee
a) The independent Disciplinary Committee is chosen by the Chairman of Discipline, Professor Lorne Crerar.
b) The three-man panel normally consists of a legal expert (Chairman), an eminent rugby administrator and former player.
c) No member of the independent Disciplinary Committee may be chosen from a country whose club is a party to the complaint.
d) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against any cited player.
(iv) Independent Appeal Committee
a) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of Discipline, Professor Lorne Crerar.
b) None of the members of the independent Disciplinary Committee who issued the decision being challenged in the appeal may sit on the independent Appeal Committee.
c) The three-man panel normally consists of a legal expert (Chairman), an eminent rugby administrator and former player.
d) No member of the independent Appeal Committee may be chosen from a country whose club is a party to the original complaint.