Castres Olympique’s Hans N’Kinsi has been suspended for 12 weeks, and has had a citing complaint against him dismissed, following an independent Disciplinary Hearings in London arising from his club’s Challenge Cup, Round 6 match against Worcester Warriors.

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N’Kinsi was cited for allegedly committing two acts of foul play in that firstly, he made contact with the eye area of the Worcester Warriors loose head prop, Ethan Waller, in the 6th minute of the match at Sixways Stadium in contravention of Law 9.12, and that secondly, he made contact with the eye area of the Worcester Warriors replacement prop, Richard Palframan, in the 69th minute again in contravention of Law 9.12.

The complaints were made by the match Citing Commissioner, Ed Kenny (Ireland).

An independent Disciplinary Committee considered video imagery of the two incidents and heard submissions from N’Kinsi who in both instances did not accept that he had committed acts of foul play.

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Submissions and evidence were also heard from the Castres Olympique legal representative, Clément Germain, the Castres Olympique Defence Coach, Joe Worsley, and the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

Regarding the first complaint, the Committee considered additional evidence from Waller and from the Worcester tight head prop, Nick Schonert, before deciding that it was not satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that N’Kinsi had committed an act of foul play. The citing complaint was therefore dismissed.

Regarding the second complaint, the Committee heard additional evidence from Palframan before deciding to uphold the citing as it found that N’Kinsi had intentionally made contact with Palframan’s eye which warranted a red card.

It was than determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions for intentional contact with the eye, and 18 weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

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Taking into account the player’s good conduct at the hearings, the Committee reduced the sanction by six weeks before imposing a 12-week suspension.

N’Kinsi is free to play on Monday, 4 May, and he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decisions.

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