Montpellier second row, Jacques du Plessis, has been suspended for five weeks following an independent disciplinary hearing arising from his club’s Champions Cup, Round Two match against Gloucester at the GGL Stadium.
Du Plessis was sent off by the referee, George Clancy, in the 56th minute of the match for striking the Gloucester second row, Gerbrandt Grobler, with his arm in contravention of Law 9.12.
An independent Disciplinary Committee heard submissions and evidence by video conference from Du Plessis, who accepted the red card decision, from the Montpellier Team Manager, Tom Whitford, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
The Committee upheld the red card decision finding that Du Plessis had struck Grobler to the head with his arm in a reckless manner. As contact to the head carries a minimum mandatory mid-range sanction, according to World Rugby’s regulations, six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
Due to the player’s prior disciplinary record, the Committee added one week to the sanction, but it also took into consideration his guilty plea and timely expression of remorse and then reduced the sanction by two weeks before imposing a five-week suspension.
Du Plessis is free to play on Monday, December 30, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.