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Mike Brown's Harlequins career is over as appeal fails

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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The Harlequins career of Mike Brown is over after the ex-England full-back failed in his appeal to get a reduction in the six-match ban he was given for a red-carded stamp earlier this month. Brown was sent off against Wasps on May 9 for landing his boot on the head of Tommy Taylor and the suspension he was given ended his 17-year stay at Quins as the club had only a maximum of six games remaining in their season if they went all the way to the Gallagher Premiership final.

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Brown would have hoped a successful appeal would have brought a reduced suspension, freeing him to appear again for Harlequins prior to his two-year deal at Newcastle. However, his hopes of a reprieve were dashed and an RFU statement on his appeal read: “Harlequins’ Mike Brown attended an online disciplinary appeal hearing last night [Wednesday] in front of an independent disciplinary panel comprising Richard Whittam QC (chair), with Daniel White and Dr Julian Morris.

“Brown was appealing his six-match suspension, which was given for stamping or trampling contrary to World Rugby law 9.12.

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“At the original disciplinary hearing on May 11, Brown accepted the charge against him and was given the suspension by an independent panel of Matthew Weaver (chair), Rob Vickerman and Mitch Read.  Full details can be found in the judgment here.

“An independent panel statement following last night’s hearing read: ‘The appeal was dismissed. The appeal panel did not accept the submissions that the disciplinary panel had come to a decision to which no reasonable body could have come, particularly bearing in mind that the burden is on the player to establish on the balance of probabilities that no reasonable disciplinary panel could have come to the same conclusion. The original sanction stands’.”

The original six-game ban seemed to have been the best outcome that could have been wished for by Brown, given the stamp was categorised as a top-end offence. However, Harlequins announced on May 20 that it was their intention to appeal the suspension.

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If Brown was to successfully have his sanction reduced, it needed the foul play to be reclassified as a middle-end offence where the pattern of punishment this season at hearings had been for a six-game entry point to be reduced to a three-match ban once the 50 per cent mitigation is applied. However, the appeal committee maintained that the offence belonged in the top-end category, resulting in Brown’s attempt to get a reduction being unsuccessful.

  • For RFU regulation 19 please click here. Information relating to appeals against a decision of an RFU disciplinary panel can be found in section 19.12.

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Mike Brown's Harlequins career is over as appeal fails

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