LONDON, 9 Oct – Nick Blevins of Canada has been suspended for five weeks for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10.4(e).
Following a review of all camera angles, Blevins was cited by independent Citing Commissioner Yves Thieffine (France) under Law 10.4(e) for a ‘dangerous tackle’ in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D match against Romania at Leicester on 6 October.
Blevins admitted committing an act of foul play.
Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, the Judicial Officer Simon Thomas (Wales) upheld the citing on the basis that the player had committed an act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(e).
In its Memorandum on “Dangerous tackles (high tackles), dangerous grasping of neck and/or head area of player not in possession of the ball and dangerous grasping/holding of ball carrier above the line of the shoulders” dated 22 May, 2015, World Rugby stated “this type of dangerous play which is foul play must be dealt with severely by match officials and all those involved in the disciplinary process.”
With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks. The Judicial Officer added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of dangerous foul play. However, taking into account mitigating factors including his conduct prior to and at the hearing, his remorse, good character and disciplinary record, the Judicial Officer reduced the suspension to a period of five weeks.
The suspension takes effect immediately and will run up to and include 15 November, 2015. He is free to resume playing on 16 November, 2015.
The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from receipt of the written decision.