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Banned Fagerson must attend tackle school or miss World Cup opener

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)

Zander Fagerson must successfully come through tackle school if he is to become available for selection to play for Scotland in their upcoming Rugby World Cup opener. The Scots begin their campaign with a September 10 clash versus South Africa, the 2019 champions, in Marseille and the tighthead must complete the World Rugby coaching intervention programme if he is to be an option for Gregor Townsend.


Fagerson was red-carded in last Saturday’s Summer Nations Series outing versus France in Edinburgh, an offence that has been deemed worthy of a three-match ban that will be reduced to two via tackle school.

A statement read: “Scotland prop Zander Fagerson appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to law 9.20 (a) (dangerous play in a ruck or maul: charging includes any contact made without binding onto another player in the ruck or maul) in the Summer Nations Series match between Scotland and France on Saturday, August 5.

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Siya Kolisi on his road to recovery

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Siya Kolisi on his road to recovery

“The independent judicial committee consisting of Rhian Williams, (chair, Wales), Jamie Corsi (Wales) and Juan Pablo Spirandelli (Argentina) heard the case, considering all the available evidence and submissions from the player and his representatives.

“In considering submissions made on behalf of the player, the committee agreed to amend the offence to law 9.20 (b): Dangerous play in a ruck or maul – a player must not make contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders.


“The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play under the revised law and that it was worthy of a red card. After reviewing all the evidence, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in the starting point of a four-week suspension.

“Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the player’s admission at the earliest opportunity, his remorse which was conveyed to the French player as well as shown during the hearing, and accepting that there were no aggravating factors to consider, the committee reduced the four-week entry point by one week, resulting in a sanction of three weeks (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):


Summer Nations Series
August 12: Scotland vs France;
August 26: Scotland vs Georgia.

Rugby World Cup
September 10: Scotland v South Africa.

“The player may apply to take part in the coaching intervention programme to substitute the final match of his sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play.”


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Chris 318 days ago

As usual, the logic evades me.
I think we need a deep adult talk on what is to be done with the dangerous play and this so called "independent committee".
I am very happy that he will be available against SA and understand how it all comes into the equation. But why act like it is independent and objective?
Why not say : "It was a warm-up game for the world cup, there was obviously no intend to harm the other player. There was foul play yet we believe the sanction of forbidding a player to participate in this once in a lifetime event would be disproportionate considering the video evidence and the fact that it didn't have any effect on Bougarit's health. Therefore we won't punish the player by forbidding him to play the world cup and delay the sanction until October 30th with a 5 games ban due to his precedents."
At least we wouldn't be forced to watch this farce at display and I'm sure 98% of impartial spectators would agree.

Rohan 318 days ago

What an absolute mockery of the laws/ player welfare concerns. How can a player recueve a 4 game ban for an act, to then recieve another red for the same act and recieve half the ban. Saying "sorry I'm guilty" should not reduce the ban, nor should this ridiculous tackle school concept. If a 50 cap international needs a 'tackle school' he shouldn't be in international squads end of.

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