La Rochelle Forward Banned For Punching Richard Hibbard In The Spuds

La Rochelle second row Jone Qovu Nailiko has been suspended for two weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris today.

Nailiko was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Alberto Recaldini (Italy), for striking the Gloucester player, Richard Hibbard, in the 45th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (a).

Law 10.4 (a) Striking another player with the hand, arm or fist
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (a), striking with the hand, arm or fist, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 4 weeks; Top end: 8 to 52 weeks.

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Kathrine Mackie (Scotland) Chair, Jeremy Summers (England) and Jean-Noel Couraud (France), heard evidence and submissions from Nailiko, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the La Rochelle legal representative, Christian Chevalier, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence had warranted a red card. The Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.

While there were no aggravating factors, the Committee decided that no mitigation could be offered due to the player’s previous disciplinary record. Nailiko was therefore suspended for two weeks and is free to play on Monday, 8 May.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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