An Independent Appeal Committee will convene in London on Tuesday, 2 March, 2010, to hear the appeal lodged by Stade Français Paris player David Attoub against both the finding of foul play and level of sanction imposed by an independent Disciplinary Hearing on Tuesday, 19 January, 2010.
The independent Judicial Officer, HH Judge Jeff Blackett (England), found that David Attoub was guilty of foul play in contravention of Law 10.4 (l) in that he made contact with the eye / eye area of Ulster Rugby player Stephen Ferris (No 6) and that the offence was at the top end in the level of seriousness. Having taken into account any mitigating and aggravating factors the independent Judicial Officer suspended the player for a period of 70 weeks running up to and including 22 April, 2011.
The Independent Appeal Committee will be chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) and also comprise Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Pat Barriscale (Ireland).
For media planning purposes please note that the hearing will start at 12.00 noon.
Under the IRB Recommended Sanctions for Offences Committed within the Playing Enclosure, contact with the eyes / eye area carries the following penalties:
Lower End: 12 weeks
Middle Range: 18 weeks
Top End: 24 weeks+
Maximum Sanction: 156 weeks
Independent Appeal Committee:
a) Following a decision of an independent Disciplinary Hearing, both the Club/player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision of the Judicial Officer.
b) The initial independent Disciplinary Hearings are determined by an independent Judicial Officer. Appeal Hearings are determined by a three man independent Appeal Committee.
c) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
d) The independent Judicial Officer who issued the decision being challenged may not sit on the independent Appeal Committee.
e) The full written decision of the Appeal Hearing will be made available on ercrugby.com/disciplinenews at a later date when the full written decisions for the Appeal hearing have been completed and issued to all parties.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.