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Steyn gets 4 weeks for high tackle on Sexton

South African Francois Steyn will have to sit out for the next four weeks after he was suspended by an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris on Wednesday

Steyn was sent off by referee, JP Doyle (England), for a dangerous tackle on the Leinster fly-half, Johnny Sexton, in the 30th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (e).

Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous tackling

Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (e), Dangerous Tackling of an opponent, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 10 to 52 weeks.

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Antony Davies (England), Chairman, Julien Berenger (France) and Pamela Woodman (Scotland), heard submissions from Steyn, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Montpellier legal representative, Christian Chevalier, from the Montpellier Chief Executive, Mathieu Charpentier, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the red card decision, and as the dangerous tackle resulted in reckless contact with the head, it was obliged to find that the offence was at the mid-range of the relevant sanctions as now required by World Rugby.

Six weeks was therefore selected as the entry point and taking into account Steyn’s guilty plea and timely expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by two weeks before imposing a four-week suspension.

Steyn is free to play on Monday, March 6. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile the Leinster player, Hayden Triggs, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris.

Triggs was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Stefano Marrama (Italy), for making contact with the eye area of the Montpellier scrum-half, Nic White (number nine), in the 44th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Antony Davies (England), Chairman, Julien Berenger (France) and Pamela Woodman (Scotland), heard submissions from Triggs, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Leinster Rugby legal representative, Derek Hegarty, from the Leinster Rugby Head of Rugby Operations, Guy Easterby, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the citing complaint, the Committee determined that the charge was specifically for contact with the eye area, and not for contact with the eye(s) which now carries a different set of sanction entry point tariffs.

Law 10.4 (m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship – contact with the eye area

Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m), contact with the eye area, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 4 weeks; Mid-range: 8 weeks; Top end: 12 to 52 weeks.

The Committee then decided that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.

Taking into account Triggs’ guilty plea and his expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by one week before imposing a three-week suspension.

Triggs is free to play on Monday, February 20. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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