Six Nations statement: Charlie Ewels' disciplinary hearing outcome
England second row Charlie Ewels has been banned for three games following last Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations red card. The lock was sent off by referee Mathieu Raynal after just 82 seconds of the 32-15 Twickenham loss to Ireland after his head clattered into the head of James Ryan.
The French official reviewed the footage on the big screen at Twickenham and decided it was a red card offence, leaving England to play out the remaining 78 minutes of the match with 14 players against an Ireland side that lost the injured Ryan to concussion.
Having since been omitted from the 28-man England squad that is now in Paris preparing for their round five match this Saturday versus France, Ewels appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link on Tuesday night and a committee consisting of Adam Casselden (chair, Australia), David Croft (Australia) and Jamie Corsi (Wales) ultimately decided to ban the England forward from playing until the end of March.
A Six Nations statement read: “The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that:
- The act of foul play was reckless as a result of the player’s poor tackle technique;
- There was direct and forceful contact made between the head of the player and the head of the ball carrier;
- Having regard to World Rugby’s head contact process the degree of danger was high because the player comes out of his defensive line at speed in an upright position to attempt a dominant ‘ball and all’ tackle on the ball carrier;
- The player never lowers, or attempts to lower, his body height before contact with the ball carrier resulting in a forceful clash of heads;
- The player had a good line of sight of the ball carrier and was in control of his actions coming into contact. There was no sudden and significant drop or movement by the ball carrier prior to contact.
“On that basis, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.
“Having acknowledged mitigating factors including, the player’s early acceptance of the red card, his remorse and contrition for his offending, his relatively unblemished disciplinary record over a long playing career and his good character and conduct at the hearing, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks.”
The matches that Ewels will miss are March 19: England vs France (Six Nations); March 26: Bath vs Sale (Premiership); and March 30: Bath vs Worcester (Premiership Cup). Ewels, though, could have that final game scratched from his ban if he applies for tackle school, the World Rugby coaching intervention programme.