Two-week suspension for Burden
NEWS: Stade Francais' Craig Burden has been suspended for two weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club's Champions Cup Play-off final against Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens.
Burden was cited by the match citing commissioner, Peter Ferguson (Ireland), for charging into a ruck and making contact with the neck and head area of the Northampton Saints scrumhalf, Nic Groom, in the 45th minute of the play-off final in contravention of Law 10.4 (h).
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (h), Charging into a ruck or maul without use of the arms, or without grasping a player, carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: two weeks; Mid-range: six weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.
An independent Judicial Officer, Simon Thomas (Wales), heard evidence and submissions by conference call from Burden, who pleaded not guilty to the offence, from Camille Perritaz, the Stade Francais Paris Administration Manager, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer determined that the offence warranted a red card. He then decided that it was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.
Having taken into account Burden's good disciplinary record and his apology to Nic Groom, the Judicial Officer decided that there was not sufficient mitigation for a reduction of the sanction and he imposed a suspension of two weeks.
Burden will remain suspended for Stade Francais Paris' two warm-up matches in advance of the 2017/18 season and will be free to play on Monday, August 14. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.