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RFU undecided over Barbeary appeal

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RFU still undecided whether to appeal Barbeary ban after horror tackle

England’s hopes at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship have suffered a major blow with the news that hooker Alfie Barbeary has picked up a lengthy ban following his red card in their opening match against Ireland.

England were trailing by just two points, 28-26, when Barbeary made a reckless spear tackle on Irish flanker John Hodnett.

Barbeary was given a straight red card after consultation with the TMO.

14-man England would go on to lose the match 42-26 to the current U20 Grand Slam champions.

Now Steve Bates’ side will have to do without Barbeary for the rest of the tournament after he was handed a five week ban by an independent World Rugby Disciplinary Committee chaired by José Luis Rolandi (Argentina) along with Frank Hadden (former Scotland coach) and Valeriu Toma (former Romanian referee) in Rosario on June 6th.

The player has 48 hours to appeal from the time he receives the written judicial decision and a RFU spokesperson told RugbyPass today they were “still considering whether to appeal”.

At the hearing Barbeary accepted that he had committed an act of foul play which warranted a red card. The Disciplinary Committee considered this to be mid-range offending which carries a 10-week entry point. The Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum 50 per cent permitted based on the player’s early acceptance of the red card, apology, clean record and good conduct at the hearing, resulting in a five-week final suspension.

The player is suspended for England’s remaining four games in the World Rugby U20 Championship and his first game of the 2019-20 English season.

England’s next game of the tournament is against Italy in Sante Fe on Saturday and head coach Steve Bates has made 10 changes to his starting XV.

Props Kai Owen and Alfie Petch join U20 debutant Will Capon in a new front row.

Richard Capstick is named at lock, while Josh Basham and Rusiate Tuima come into the backrow.

Sam Maunder starts at scrum half, Connor Doherty is named at outside centre while wing Arron Reed and full back Josh Hodge also come into the side.

Fraser Dingwall will again captain the side, switching to inside centre with lock Alex Coles, flanker Aaron Hinkley and wing Tom Seabrook starting their second match of the tournament, as does Tom de Glanville who moves to fly half.

Prop James Kenny is in line to make his England U20 debut as a replacement, while Manu Vunipola has been ruled out due to concussion.

Steve Bates said: “There are a lot of changes but we’ve picked a team that we know can be really competitive, I want to see the players put in a performance that they are proud of and for everyone to contribute.

“We agonised over the first selection and picking this XV has been equally as tough, but this is a strong team and we expect them to play with belief and confidence and play the sort of rugby we saw at times against Ireland but with a bit more consistency and discipline.”

England U20s team to play Italy:

15. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
14. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)
13. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
12. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints) – captain
11. Arron Reed (Sale Sharks)
10. Tom De Glanville (Bath Rugby)
9. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
1. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
2. Will Capon (Bristol Bears)
3, Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Josh Basham (Newcastle Falcons)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)

Replacements
16. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
17. James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs)
18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
19. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
20. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
21. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
22. Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby)
23. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
24. Luke James (Sale Sharks)
25. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
26. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)

You may also like: Rugby Explorer – Italy

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RFU still undecided whether to appeal Barbeary ban after horror tackle