Tom James received a two week suspension for striking with the head.
An independent Disciplinary Committee convened in Dublin today (Thursday, 22 January), to consider if any further action was required following the sending-off of Tom James, the Cardiff Blues wing (No 11), in the Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 6 match against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm on Sunday, 18 January, 2009.
The player was sent off by Irish referee Alan Lewis in the 27th minute for striking an opponent with his head.
The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and also comprised Jean-Etienne Bernard (France) and George Spotswood (Ireland).
After considering the evidence available, the independent Disciplinary Committee determined that the offence was at the low-end of the level of seriousness for a strike with the head.
Having taken into account any mitigating and aggravating factors the independent Disciplinary Committee suspended the player for a period of two (2) weeks from the date of the match up to and including Sunday, 1 February, 2009.
Both parties have the right to appeal.
(i) Red Cards
a) The case of any player sent off in the Heineken Cup or European Challenge Cup game shall be adjudicated by an independent Disciplinary Committee as soon as is practicable.
b) Until the hearing the player is ineligible to play in any tournament.
(ii) Independent Disciplinary Committee
a) The independent Disciplinary Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
b) Both parties to the hearing (ERC and the player) have the right to appeal decisions of the independent Disciplinary Committee. Appeals must be lodged within 72 hours of receiving the full written decision from the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Committee
c) The full written decision of the independent Disciplinary Committee will be available on www.ercrugby.com/disciplinenews when the disciplinary process is complete
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.