Munster’s Gerhard van den Heever, accompanied by Team Manager Niall O’Donovan, appeared before an independent PRO12 Rugby disciplinary committee in Cardiff yesterday, having been cited by the independent citing commissioner for an alleged dangerous tackle in last Saturday’s win over Edinburgh.
The winger allegedly tackled an opponent in the air in contravention of Law 10.4(i) in the Guinness PRO12 match between Edinburgh Rugby and Munster Rugby in Edinburgh on Saturday, 7 November 2015.
The player did not accept that he had committed an act of foul play. However, the Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Rhian Williams, alongside Ray Wilton and Richard Cole (all from Wales), having viewed video footage of the incident, listened to evidence and representations from and on behalf of the player, and reviewed all of the other evidence, found that the player had committed an act of foul play, and went on to find that the foul play had warranted a red card.
The Disciplinary Committee then turned to consider what would be the appropriate sanction. In assessing the seriousness of the incident, the Disciplinary Committee considered that it merited a lower-end entry point based on World Rugby’s scale of seriousness, which is a three-week suspension. The Disciplinary Committee found that there were no aggravating factors and that there were a number of mitigating factors such that his suspension be reduced by one week meaning van den Heever is therefore suspended for a total of two weeks, up to and including Sunday, 22 November 2015. The player was also reminded of his right of appeal.