The prop was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes in the 76th minute of a match he had already been substituted in and was watching from the sidelines when a melee developed between the players who were still playing.
Accepting the charge of an act contrary to good sportsmanship, Williams will be now free to play again on Tuesday, January 14, after sitting out the Chiefs’ league match at London Irish this Sunday and their following weekend’s European meeting with Glasgow.
Independent judicial officer Richard Whittam explained: “Harry Williams was substituted during the match having failed an HIA.
“In the 76th minute, he left the technical area, which is set back from the pitch, came forward, rounded the hoardings that surround the pitch and advanced over ten metres deliberately to enter a melee that already had started.
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“The referee, who handled the situation in an exemplary manner, assessed his actions as exacerbating the situation. Clearly, it was behaviour against the spirit of good sportsmanship, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.27.”
It was determined that Williams’ action merited a low-end, four-week entry point for other behaviour in the sanction table.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 29, 2019
The hearing agreed that the prop did not strike another player and no one was injured as a result of his actions. Taking into account his apology to the referee immediately after the match and his acceptance of the charge in advance of the hearing, the mooted four-week suspension was cut to two.
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