Tom Botha

Tom Botha suspended for three weeks

The Ospreys prop, Tom Botha, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final match against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm.

Botha was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Mihai Irimia (Romania), for tackling the Gloucester Rugby centre, Seb Atkinson, in a dangerous manner in the 12th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.13.

Law 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), Chair, Donal Courtney (Ireland), and Martyn Wood (England) studied video imagery of the incident and heard evidence and submissions from Botha, who admitted that he had committed an act of foul play but who did not accept that it warranted a red card, from the Ospreys Team Manager, Dai Davies, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee determined that Botha had tackled Atkinson in a dangerous and reckless manner that warranted a red card, and therefore, the citing complaint was upheld.

It was decided that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point. Taking into account the player’s admission of foul play and his clear disciplinary record, the committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing a three-week suspension.

Botha is free to play on Monday, 13 May, however, if he applies for and successfully completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday, 29 April.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.