Reuben O'Neill suspended for 3 weeks

Reuben O'Neill suspended for 3 weeks

The SANZAAR Judicial Committee (Committee) has found Reuben O'Neill of the Chiefs guilty of contravening Law 9.12 - A player must not physically abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to: Punching or striking with hand, arm (including stiff-arm tackle), elbow or shoulder.

Reuben O'Neill has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 7 June 2024.

The incident occurred in the 61st minute of the Super Rugby Pacific match between the Rebels and Chiefs at AAMI Park in Melbourne on 17 May 2024.

The SANZAAR Judicial Committee, comprised of Helen Morgan (Chair), Chris Smith, and David Croft, assessed the incident.

In their finding, Committee Chair, Helen Morgan, ruled as follows:

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions by the player and the Player’s representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the Citing and found the Player to have contravened Law 9.12."  

“The Judicial Committee assessed the actions, being reckless foul play by the Player by striking an opponent’s head with his arm.”

“The Judicial Committee have found these actions to have met the Red Card threshold under law 9.12, which deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to World Rugby's mandate that dictates “any act of foul play which results in contact with the head and/or the neck shall result in at least a mid-range sanction.”   

“The Player was given a 50% discount for entering an early guilty plea (and other relevant mitigating factors including remorse and prior disciplinary record), reducing the suspension from 6 weeks to 3 weeks.  The Player is therefore suspended up to and including 7 June 2024.”

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