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'Feels harshly done': Wasps to appeal the Brad Shields ban

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wasps boss Lee Blackett has revealed they will appeal the four-week ban given to Brad Shields, even though the club was still awaiting the written judgment from the independent disciplinary hearing that took place on Tuesday night. The England back-rower was red-carded for a collision with Dave Kilcoyne in their Champions Cup round one defeat to Munster last Sunday. 

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There was mainly surprise that the decision was a red card, pundits such as Andy Goode calling out the outcome reached by referee Romain Poite, and that dismay has continued now that Shields has been suspended. 

Wasps, though, have indicated their intention to appeal and they are hopeful this will be heard on Thursday night so that a successful outcome would free Shields to play in this Sunday’s game away to Toulouse, the defending champions. 

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“He is desperate to play,” explained Blackett at his Wednesday afternoon media briefing. “He probably feels harshly done a little bit but honestly we have not had loads of conversations about it, we were talking about other things. 

“We were hoping we would get a positive result from last night, which we have not and whatever will happen will happen. Brad is the ultimate team man and he was gutted on the day, but he has reacted positively and has been leading out on the field on both training days we have done this week.”

Shields, who last month spoke at length to RugbyPass about the first-ever red card in his career which he received in September for two yellow-carded maul offences, had his tackle versus Munster ranked as a six-week entry point at his hearing this week. The fact he contested the charge meant that he then didn’t receive the usual 50 per cent mitigation and was banned for four weeks rather than three, although he does have the option to go to tackle school to get the final week of that suspension erased.

Wasps, though, are looking for the entire suspension to be quashed and Blackett was careful to choose his words in advance of Shields going round two with a discipline committee. “I probably can’t say too much because I have not seen the written judgment yet,” shrugged the coach. “Once we receive that we will appeal… to say we are appealing it, that probably tells you everything you need to know.

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“I probably would have expected it [the written judgment] by now but hopefully in the next few hours and hopefully we can appeal by tomorrow [Thursday] evening. We should turn it around so we hopefully will know by tomorrow evening.”

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