Nel suspended for three weeks
Prop WP Nel has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from Edinburgh's EPCR Challenge Cup Round 5 match against Section Paloise at DAM Health Stadium.
Nel is free to play on Monday 2 May, however, if he applies for and completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday 25 April. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.
Nel was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Dana Teagarden (Germany), for striking the head of the Section Paloise prop Téo Bordenave in the 42nd minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.12.
Law 9.12 A player must not punch or strike with hand, arm, elbow or shoulder.
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.
An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Simon Thomas (Wales), chair, Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Martyn Wood (England), heard submissions from Nel, who accepted the charge, from the player’s legal representative, Bruce Caldow, from the Edinburgh Rugby Team Manager, Matt Cornwell, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
The committee upheld the citing complaint, finding that Nel had struck Bordenave’s head with his shoulder and it then determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
On the basis that the player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and had a clear disciplinary record, it was decided to grant the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.