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Banned Alex Cuthbert thrown Six Nations lifeline

By Kim Ekin
Alex Cuthbert /Getty

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Wales winger Alex Cuthbert has been thrown a Guinness Six Nations lifeline after copping a ban for a yellow card he received in the Heineken Champions Cup.

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Cuthbert is suspended for three weeks following a Disciplinary Hearing that was held by video conference in the wake of the incident during the Ospreys recent match against Racing 92 at the Swansea.com Stadium in Wales.

Cuthbert was cited for tackling the Racing 92 hooker, Teddy Baubigny, in a dangerous manner in the sixth minute of the match. While it was only a yellow card during the game, the citing commissioner felt it was should have warranted a red card.

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An independent Disciplinary Committee heard evidence and submissions from Cuthbert, from the Ospreys Team Manager, Dai Davies, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee upheld the citing complaint, finding that Cuthbert had carried out a dangerous tackle and had made contact with Baubigny’s head and neck area. It then determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

It was mitigated by the full 50 per cent down to three weeks on the basis that the 31-year-old accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and had a clear disciplinary record, hence the three-week suspension.

The suspension – which ends on Monday, 7 February – would mean the 47 times capped winger wouldn’t be available for selection for Wales opening game of the tournament against Ireland on February 5th.

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However, if Cuthbert applies for a World Rugby Coaching Intervention – AKA tackle school – he will be free to play from Monday, 31 January.

World Rugby Coaching Intervention is aimed at amplifying awareness of the importance of technique and encouraging players and coaches to practice tackle technique that carries a statistically lower injury risk, reducing the number of red cards over time.

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