IRB to appeal Thomson ban

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THE International Rugby Board is to appeal what it describes as “an unduly lenient sanction” on New Zealand flanker Adam Thomson.

He received a one-week ban for stamping on Scotland flanker Alasdair Strokosch’s head during the All Blacks’ 51-22 Test win at Murrayfield ten days ago.

Thomson, 30, was yellow-carded and later cited, which meant him appearing before independent judicial officer Jean Noel Couraud.

Couraud upheld the complaint and the suspension would have been two weeks but Couraud reduced it by seven days for Thomson’s good conduct at the hearing.

He missed last Saturday’s clash against Italy in Rome but is available to face Wales this weekend and England at Twickenham seven days later.

The length of ban sparked criticism and, in a strongly-worded statement the IRB said it would appeal “in the best 
interests of the game”.

“As custodians of rugby worldwide, the IRB has a duty to protect its image, values and integrity, together with the welfare of players at all levels in order that the sport can continue its unprecedented growth and welcome more men, women and children to the rugby family,” the statement read. “The IRB firmly believes it is in the best interests of the game and its integrity to exercise its ability to appeal the Thomson decision.”

The IRB said arrangements for an appeal hearing will be announced shortly.