The ECPR have rejected Saracens Alex Lozowski’s request to switch games in his recent two-week ban.
Lozowski, who was suspended following a citing complaint arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 1 match against Glasgow Warriors, has had his sanction reviewed administratively by the original independent Disciplinary Committee.
Lozowski was found to have committed an act of foul play during the match – dangerous play at a ruck in contravention of Law 9.20 – that warranted a red card and he was suspended for two weeks by the Committee.
In accordance with World Rugby regulations, suspensions are imposed on the basis that a one-week period of suspension would ordinarily result in a player missing one match, so it was decided that Lozowski would miss his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against Lyon on 20 October as well as the Premiership Cup match against Leicester Tigers on 27 October, and that he would be free to play on Monday, 29 October.
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Subsequently, Lozowski was selected for an England squad training camp in Portugal, and on the basis of an agreement between the RFU and Premiership Rugby, it appeared that due to his participation in the England training camp, he would not be expected to play in Saracens’ Premiership Cup match on 27 October.
EPCR then requested that the independent Disciplinary Committee administratively review its decision on sanction with regard to the specific matches which would count towards Lozowski’s period of suspension.
The England Team Manager, Richard Hill, informed the Committee that Lozowski would be made available for selection for the Premiership Cup match in order for the match to count towards his suspension. However, it was decided that had the player not received a sanction, he would not in the normal course of events have been expected to play in the match against Leicester Tigers on 27 October.
The Committee concluded that in the context of Lozowski’s suspension, Saracens’ Premiership Cup match against Leicester Tigers should not be regarded as one that the player would have been expected to play in on account of his England squad selection.
It was therefore decided that Lozowski’s two-week period of suspension should take in Saracens’ Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against Lyon, Saracens’ Premiership Cup match against Sale Sharks on Friday, 2 November and/or England’s international match against South Africa on Saturday, 3 November.
He is free to play on Monday, 5 November and has the right to appeal the reviewed decision.
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