French fullback Ramos gets five weeks for head-butt and eye-gouging
NEWS: The Stade Toulousain fullback Thomas Ramos has been suspended for five weeks.
The ban of Ramos, 27, who won the last of his 22 Test caps in November, follows disciplinary hearings arising from his club’s Champions Cup, Round Two match against Sale Sharks at Stade Ernest-Wallon.
Ramos was issued with a red card by the referee, Andrea Piardi (Italy), in the 80th minute of the match – for striking the Sale Sharks fullback, Byron McGuigan, with his head in contravention of Law 9.12.
Ramos was also cited by the match citing commissioner, Ed Kenny (Ireland), for making contact with the eye or eye area of the Sale Sharks scrumhalf, Gus Warr, in the 56th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.12.
A disciplinary committee comprising Daniel White (England), as Chairman, Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Bogdan Zebega (Romania) heard the two cases consecutively.
The committee considered video imagery of the incidents and took evidence from Ramos and from Warr.
It also took submissions from Ramos’ legal representative, Neil Robertson, from the Stade Toulousain coach, Ugo Mola, from the Stade Toulousain High Performance Manager, Jerome Cazalbou, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer, Liam McTiernan.
Ramos accepted the red card decision.
However, in relation to the citing complaint, he did not accept that he had made contact with the eye area of Warr.
With regard to the citing, the committee upheld the complaint, finding that Ramos had made intentional contact with Warr’s eye area.
It determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and eight weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
As Ramos did not accept that he had committed the offence, the committee was not able to grant him the full 50 percent mitigation, and it reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a suspension of five weeks.
The red card decision was also upheld with the committee finding that Ramos had struck McGuigan with his head.
It determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
Taking into account Ramos’ guilty plea, the committee reduced the sanction by two weeks before imposing a suspension of four weeks.
The committee then decided that the two sanctions of five weeks and four weeks should run concurrently and Ramos is therefore free to play on Monday, January 23.
Ramos was at risk of missing out on Les Bleus’ defence of the Six Nations but is now likely to feature in their tournament opener against Italy on February 5.
Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal both decisions.