Rugby Board to Review Disciplinary Process After Thomson’s Ban

The International Rugby Board will review the disciplinary process that led to New Zealand’s Adam Thomson receiving a one-week ban for stamping on the head of a Scottish opponent in a Test match four days ago.

Thomson appeared yesterday before the IRB-appointed judicial officer Jean-Noel Couraud, who ruled that his contact with Alasdair Strokosch’s head was at the “lower end” of the scale of the governing body’s sanctions. He took a week off the penalty because of back-rower Thomson’s conduct at the hearing.

The punishment, described as “ludicrously lenient” by former England hooker Brian Moore, contrasted with the eight-week suspension handed down yesterday to Australia lock Rob Simmons for a tip tackle in the Wallabies’ loss to France on Nov. 10. IRB Chief Executive Officer Brett Gosper said the governing body would look at the Thomson decision.

“The IRB will review this case as it is a match under our jurisdiction,” Gosper said in a Twitter post. “If we decide to take action we will make it public.”

While Thomson will be available for selection against Wales on Nov. 24 and England a week later, Simmons will miss the rest of Australia’s tour of Europe.

IRB judicial officer Robert Williams, who heard Simmons’s case in London, said in a statement that he determined the tip tackle on France flanker Yannick Nyanga to be at the “high end” of the IRB’s sanctions scale.

In a tip, or spear, tackle, an opponent is lifted, upended and dropped or driven head first toward the ground.

Taking into account the period of close-season inactivity following Australia’s tour, Simmons was banned until Feb. 24. He’ll miss Test matches against England, Italy and Wales.

Both players have the right of appeal, according to separate statements announcing the sanctions.

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