Northampton Saints’ Tom Wood and Sale Sharks’ Jean-Luc du Preez have both been handed suspensions by EPCR following disciplinary hearings today. Wood has received a three week ban while Du Preez has been banned for four weeks.
Northampton flanker Wood was cited for a dangerous clearout on Leinster’s Josh van der Flier in the 69th minute of the Saints’ 35-19 Heineken Champions Cup defeat in Dublin last Saturday.
The flanker was said to have broken Law 9.20(b), which states: “A player must not make contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders.’
Appearing before an independent Disciplinary Committee via video link, Wood accepted he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card.
The committee determined the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point. Taking into account the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse, the committee reduced the sanction by one week before imposing a three-week suspension.
Wood will be free to play on Monday, 11 January 2021, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.
Sale Sharks No 8 Du Preez, has been suspended for four weeks after he was alleged to have struck Edinburgh flanker Hamish Watson with his shoulder, and/or tackled the player dangerously during the Scottish side’s 16-15 win at the AJ Bell Arena.
Like Wood, Du Preez accepted that he had struck with his shoulder in a dangerous manner that warranted a red card.
The committee then determined the offence was at the mid-range and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point. There were no aggravating factors and taking into account the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse, the committee decided to reduce the sanction by two weeks before imposing a four-week suspension.
Du Preez is free to play on Monday, 18 January 2021, and can to appeal the decision.
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