Harry Ellis, the Leicester Tigers replacement (No 20), appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee in Dublin on (Friday, 19 December as a result of a citing arising from the Round 4 Heineken Cup Pool 3 match against Perpignan at Stade Aime Giral.
The citing lodged by the Citing Commissioner for the match, Iain Goodall (Scotland) was for an alleged dangerous tackle on Perpignan player Dan Carter (No 10) in contravention of Law 10.4 (e).
The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) and also comprised George Spotswood (Ireland) and Pat Barriscale (Ireland).
Mr Ellis admitted he was guilty of foul play in that he had committed a dangerous tackle.
After considering the evidence available, the independent Disciplinary Committee determined that the offence was of the top-end of the level of seriousness for a dangerous tackle.
Having taken into account any mitigating and aggravating factors the independent Disciplinary Committee suspended the player for a period of six (6) weeks up to and including Sunday, 25 January, 2009.
Both parties have the right to appeal.
(i) Citing Commissioner
a) Citing Commissioners will be appointed by ERC for all Heineken Cup and all televised European Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a Player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner's opinion warranted a citing.
b) For such matches Clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the game to make a citing and the determination of the Citing Commissioner will be final and binding. In exceptional circumstances this deadline can be extended.
d) Should the Citing Commissioner 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.
e) This case will then proceed to a disciplinary hearing.
(ii) Independent Disciplinary Committee
a) Citings will be heard by an independent Disciplinary Committee as soon as is practicable. Until the hearing a cited player is eligible to play in ERC tournaments
b) The independent Disciplinary Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
c) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against the player
d) 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
e) The full written decision of the independent Disciplinary Committee will be available on www.ercrugby.com/disciplinenews when the disciplinary process is complete
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.