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CONFIRMED: SANZAAR stand firm on Brits' ban

DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: The mystery surrounding Bulls and Springbok hooker Schalk Brits’ disciplinary hearing has been settled.


The Bulls hooker was handed a four-week on Monday.

However,  he appealed the suspension and appeared before the SANZAAR Judicial Hearing on Tuesday.

Nonetheless SANZAAR stuck to their original decision of a four-week ban for his role in the punch-up with fellow Bok hooker Armand van der Merwe in the Bulls’ 19-16 Super Rugby win over the Sharks in Durban at the weekend.

Both players, Brits and Van der Merwe, were issued with reds cards by New Zealand referee Mike Fraser.

Van der Merwe pleaded guilty before a hearing on Monday and was slapped with a three-week ban – reduced from a ‘mid-range entry point’ of six weeks, due to mitigating factors, including the Sharks hooker’s good judicial record and the fact the player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.



Brits’ hearing was held via video conference was heard by Helen Morgan, David Croft and Lawrence Sephaka.

In her finding, the Judicial Committee Chairperson Helen Morgan ruled the following:

“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, Gert van der Merwe, the Judicial Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.12.

“With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level. The evidence demonstrated the Player contacted the opposing Player’s head with more than one punch. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s demonstrated remorse, extensive experience, the fact the Player’s actions were in self-defence and the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Judicial Committee reduced the suspension by 2 weeks. The Judicial Committee was conscious of the fact that the Player was not the instigator of the incident, but due to the Player’s previous two periods of suspension for striking offences, the Judicial Committee were unable to provide the full 50 persent discount for the sanction. This leads to a sanction of 4 weeks.”


“The player is therefore suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks, up to and including May 4.”

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