Simmonds handed three-week ban

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Exeter Chiefs Joe Simmonds has been suspended until Monday, February 17 after a citing charge against him was upheld by EPCR disciplinary panel.

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs fly-half, Joe Simmonds, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing today arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 6 match against La Rochelle.

Simmonds was alleged to have committed an act of foul play in that he tackled the La Rochelle wing, Kini Murimurivalu, in a dangerous manner in the 16th minute of the match at Sandy Park in contravention of Law 9.13.

The complaint was made by the match Citing Commissioner, Kevin Beggs (Ireland).

An independent Judicial Officer, Tommy Dalton (Ireland), considered submissions from Simmonds, who admitted the offence of dangerous tackling, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Judicial Officer upheld the citing complaint, finding that Simmonds had made contact with Murimurivalu’s head in a dangerous manner that had warranted a red card. He then determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected six weeks as the appropriate entry point.

Taking into account the player’s guilty plea, clear disciplinary record and timely expression of remorse, the Judicial Officer reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing a three-week suspension.

Simmonds is free to play on Monday, 17 February, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision. 

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