Share this article


Munster star Arno Botha has been handed a three-week suspension, after striking with the leading arm late on in their win over Saracens on Saturday.

The South African received his marching orders with a straight red card from referee Romain Poite for the incident involving Sarries' Nick Tompkins.

Munster won the game 10-3 after Peter O'Mahony's first-half try, while they take on the same opposition in the Heineken Champions Cup this coming Saturday at Allianz Park in a reverse fixture.

The suspension follows an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London today, at which Botha was up for an infringement of Law 9.12 of World Rugby's guidelines on foul play - those relating to striking with the arm.

This carries a sanction entry point of two weeks at the low end, six weeks in the mid-range and 10 to 52 weeks at the top end of the scale.

The committee in London comprised of chair Dan White (England), Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Marcello d’Orey (Portugal). The panel reviewed imagery of the incident, and heard evidence and video conference submissions from Botha himself.

Others the panel spoke to included Munster Rugby's legal representative, Pat Barriscale, Munster Rugby Team Manager, Niall O'Donovan, and from the EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the red card decision from the French official, deciding the incident was indeed "reckless."

According to World Rugby's regulations, contact to the head or neck carries a minimum mandatory mid-range sanction, and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

However, it was adjudged there were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s guilty plea and timely expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing the three-week suspension.

Botha will be free to play on Monday, 30th December 2019, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

The suspension means the 28-year-old flanker, who made his debut for Johann Van Graan's side in September 2018, will miss upcoming fixtures against Saracens in the Champions Cup this weekend, as well as Guinness PRO 14 ties against Connacht and Leinster.

The other Pool Four match on Saturday ended in a 40-19 win for Racing 92 over Ospreys.

Everyone’s in the Team Of Us.

Vodafone. The Official Sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.


Share this article


Read more about

Arno Botha Munster Munster Rugby Nick Tompkins Off The Ball Rugby Saracens Thomond Park

You might like

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up on queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Sound of the City with Bar...

The Sound of the City with Barry Dunne

12:00-16:00

Share

Up next

The Big Ride Home With Brian M...

The Big Ride Home With Brian Maher

16:00-19:00

Share

The Fix with Ciaran O'Connor

The Fix with Ciaran O'Connor

19:00-22:00

Share

The Sound of the City at Night...

The Sound of the City at Night with Karl Dawson

22:00-00:00

Share

The Sound of the City at Night

The Sound of the City at Night

00:00-07:00

Share

98FM'S Big Breakfast with Rebe...

98FM'S Big Breakfast with Rebecca and Brendan

07:00-10:00

Share

Dublin Talks with Adrian & Jer...

Dublin Talks with Adrian & Jeremy

10:00-12:00

Share

The Sound of the City with Bar...

The Sound of the City with Barry Dunne

12:00-16:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on