Where a player is cited by either of the clubs competing in the match his case shall be immediately referred to an independent Citing Officer. The citing must be submitted in writing and received by the Citing Officer within 50 hours of the start of the match. The Citing Officer will consider the citing and decide whether the player cited has a case to answer.
After this review, if the Citing Officer determines there is no case to answer, no further action will be taken. The determination of the Citing Officer will be final and binding. Should the Citing Officer decide there is a case to answer he will notify the Disciplinary Officer and the Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player. This case will then proceed to a Disciplinary Hearing.
TELEVISION MATCH OFFICIALS
For the first time Television Match Officials (TMOs) will be on duty at all televised matches to assist the Match Referee if so required. There will be five officials on duty at all Heineken Cup matches, six where one is on TMO duty.
HEINEKEN CUP GOES OPEN IN 2005 / 2006
The placing of the 24 teams for the six Pools of the Heineken Cup will be decided by an open draw from the 2005 / 2006 season.
The matrix system used in the past by ERC to decide the make-up of the teams for the Pools stage - a system that has served the tournament well - will make way for an open draw from the 11th tournament.
The draw will be put together in such a way that the number one seed from the six different countries will be kept apart. This will prevent any single Pool including the number one seeds from different countries, for example one Pool being made up of the top clubs from Scotland, Ireland, France and England.
The Board of ERC believe an Open Draw will generate enormous additional excitement and understanding amongst all of ERC's stakeholders, including the Media and public.
When the open draw is introduced in season 2005/06 there will still be 24 teams from 6 nations competing in 6 pools. After the initial 22 places have been filled under the agreed country-by-country allocation, the 23rd place will go to a team from either England, France or Italy.
This will be dependent on which country has been the most successful in this season's (2004 / 2005) tournament - working from the 2005 Heineken Cup winner back.
Due to Wales now fielding four regions, the 24th place will go to the winner of a one-match play-off between the team nominated by the Celtic League who does not qualify by right for the Heineken Cup 2005 / 2006 and the third best placed Italian team in their domestic championship.