Cardiff Blues and Wales scrum half Richie Rees banned for 12 weeks.

Cardiff Blues and Wales suffered a blow today when scrum half Richie Rees was banned following an ERC disciplinary hearing in Dublin on Thursday. Rees was found guilty of making contact with Dylan Hartley's eye in Cardiff Blues' defeat to Northampton Saints on 19th December.  The ban comes as a blow for Cardiff Blues who declined to comment further on the issue until Rees has decided whether or not to appeal against the decision. However, Wales coach Warren Gatland will also be disappointed as the ban covers the entire Six Nations period.  Rees is currently deputy for Mike Phillips and was used to good effect in the Autumn international series.  The full ERC statement is below:

Richie Rees, the Cardiff Blues player (No 9), appeared before an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin today (Thursday, 6 January, 2011) as a result of the citing complaint arising from the Heineken Cup Pool 1 match against Northampton Saints at Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, 19 December, 2010.

The citing complaint made by the Citing Commissioner for the match, Murray Whyte (Ireland), was for acts contrary to good sportsmanship in contravention of law 10.4(m) in that Mr Rees had made contact with the eye/eye area of Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley (No 2) 30 minutes into the first half.

Mr Rees pleaded not guilty to the complaint on the basis that any contact had been accidental. The independent Judicial Officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), reviewed all of the evidence, including several angles of the incident from television footage and medical statements relating to the injuries sustained by Mr Hartley.
The Judicial Officer heard oral evidence from Mr Hartley (by telephone) and Mr Rees, and also heard submissions on behalf of Mr Rees from Cardiff Blues’ Chief Executive, Robert Norster, and on behalf of ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O’Connor.
The Judicial Officer determined that Mr Rees was guilty of foul play in contravention of Law 10.4(m) in that he had made contact with the eye/eye area of Mr Hartley. The Judicial Officer found that the contact had been reckless and not intentional.
The Judicial Officer found that the offending was at the low end of the level of seriousness for an offence of this type, and having taken into account all aggravating and mitigating factors imposed a suspension of 12 weeks. Mr Rees is free to play again on 31 March, 2011.


Post a Comment