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Toulouse centre handed ban but given Champions Cup final lifeline

By Josh Raisey
Santiago Chocobares of Toulouse in action during the Top 14 Finale Rugby match between Toulouse and la Rochelle at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris on June 17, 2023 France. (Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Toulouse centre Santiago Chocobares has given a three week ban for his dangerous tackle on Harlequins centre Luke Northmore in the Investec Champions Cup semi-final.

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The Argentine was cited for a dangerous tackle on the Harlequins centre on 74 minutes in his side’s victory at the Stadium de Toulouse.

He was subsequently cited for contravening Law 9.13 – a player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously – and attended a video hearing on Wednesday.

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An independent disciplinary committee determined that the tackle warranted a red card and a mid-range sanction of six weeks. That ban was halved due to the 25-year-old’s clean disciplinary record.

The three week ban would have meant Chocobares would miss the Champions Cup final against Leinster at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but it can be reduced by a further week should he complete the World Rugby Coaching Intervention programme.

Fixture
Investec Champions Cup
Leinster
22 - 31
Full-time
Toulouse
All Stats and Data

An EPCR statement read: “An independent disciplinary committee comprising Benjamin Rutherford (Ireland), Chair, Valeriu Toma (Romania), and Roddy MacLeod (Scotland) studied video imagery of the incident and heard evidence and submissions from Chocobares, who accepted the charge, from the player’s legal representative, Neil Robertson, from the Stade Toulousain President, Didier Lacroix, from the Stade Toulousain Director of Rugby, Ugo Mola, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

“The committee determined that Chocobares had tackled Northmore in a dangerous and reckless manner that warranted a red card, and therefore, the citing complaint was upheld.

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“It was decided that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point. Taking into account the player’s guilty plea and his clear disciplinary record, the committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing a three-week suspension.

“Chocobares is free to play on Monday, 27 May, however, if he applies for and successfully completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday, 20 May

“Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”

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Comments

2 Comments
J
J P 68 days ago

What a joke. Could the victim do a course to reverse the long term CTE damage from the cheapshot?

T
Turlough 69 days ago

I don’t like to see players miss big matches but this ban looks to be tailored to allow him to compete in the final. In principle a suspension for a very dangerous tackle in a semi should warrant missing the relevant final.
Done now. One the flip side having both teams with very strong squads/teams available for the final will add to the occassion hopefully.

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