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Bath statement: Premiership club appeals four-game Will Muir ban

By Kim Ekin
Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Bath are hoping for a Brad Shields-type success when they become the latest club to appeal a suspension handed down following Heineken Champions Cup action, challenging the four-game ban given to Will Muir. Wasps forward Shields successfully had his four-game suspension overturned on appeal last week after he challenged his ban following a red card for an alleged high tackle versus Munster on December 12. 

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Now Bath are set to argue their case about Muir a second time after the rookie was cited and banned for the alleged contact with the eye of Josh van der Flier during the Gallagher Premiership’s club round one European hammering in Dublin on December 11. 

A club statement read: “Bath have appealed the suspension given to Will Muir following an independent disciplinary hearing by video conference on December 15. Muir was cited for allegedly making contact with the eye of the Leinster flanker, Josh van der Flier, in the 14th minute of the match in contravention of law 9.12. 

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“The complaint was made by the match citing commissioner, Jeff Mark (Wales). He was subsequently handed a four-week suspension. An independent disciplinary committee comprising Philippe Cavalieros (France) chair, Val Toma (Romania) and Chris Watts (Wales), considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Muir, from Muir’s legal representative Sam Jones, and from EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.

“Muir pleaded not guilty to the charge. In his plea, he accepted the brief description in the citing complaint but did not accept that he committed an act of foul play. Muir also asserted the incident was an accident.

“The 26-year-old has reached out to van der Flier to apologise for the accident. The Leinster flanker fully accepts the apology and understands there was no malicious intent involved and that it was an accident. The committee upheld the citing complaint and believe the incident warranted a red card.

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“It was then determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point, reduced by two weeks. The appeal hearing will take place on Thursday, December 23, at 16:00.”

Pamela Woodman (Scotland – chair), Jamie Corsi (Wales) and Donal Courtney (Ireland) have been appointed as the independent Appeal Committee to hear the appeal by video conference.

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