Two disciplinary hearings were held in Dublin today to consider citing complaints against two Ospreys players, George Stowers and Jonathan Thomas following the match against Newport Gwent Dragons in the RaboDirect PRO12 on 7 January 2012.
In the first hearing, an independent RaboDirect PRO12 Disciplinary Committee chaired by Mark McParland, assisted by Dr Barry O’Driscoll and George Spotswood (all Ireland) suspended George Stowers for four weeks having found that the tackle committed on Tanderai Chavhanga in the 67thminute of the match was dangerous under Law 10.4(e).
The Committee, having viewed the various TV angles for the tackle and listened to the player’s explanation, found that the tackle merited a low-end entry point of two weeks in the IRB’s list of recommended sanctions list but increased the sanction by one week in view of the player’s poor disciplinary record in the past 36 months and a further one week in line with the IRB’s recent (4 August 2011) memorandum on dangerous tackling, particularly “the grasping and twisting of the neck and/or head area of a player to effect [a tackle] should also be regarded as constituting serious illegal and/or Foul Player and Match Officials and Judicial Personnel have a responsibility to ensure that the appropriate action is taken by them”.
George Stowers can resume playing on 9 February 2012 and has the right of appeal.
In the second hearing, for Jonathan Thomas, the same RaboDirect PRO12 disciplinary committee, having viewed the various TV angles and considered the player’s explanation of the incident in the 79th minute of the same match, decided not to uphold the citing.
Jonathan Thomas is therefore free to continue playing.
There will be no further comment on this matter from Ospreys Rugby.