Glasgow Warriors flanker and co-captain Callum Gibbins has been suspended for two weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London today arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup match against the Exeter Chiefs at Scotsoun on Saturday.
With Glasgow having three weeks off after this weekend, the committee decided to impose the ban in the weeks of their next games meaning, as well as this Saturday's Heineken Cup Pool 2 finale at Sale Sharks, he will also be suspended from the next Guinness Pro14 match against Zebre.
Gibbins was alleged to have committed an act of foul play in that he struck the Exeter openside flanker Jacques Vermeulen with his shoulder in a dangerous manner in the 25th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.12. He was yellow carded by French referee Romain Poite.
The complaint was made by the match Citing Commissioner, Eugene Ryan (Ireland).
An EPCR statement read: "An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Philippe Cavalieros (France), Chair, Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Antony Wheat (England), considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Gibbins, who accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, but who did not accept that the offence warranted a red card.
"Submissions and evidence were also heard from the Glasgow Warriors Head Coach, Dave Rennie, from the Glasgow Warriors Team Manager, Kenny Brown, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan. The Committee decided that the charge should be altered to Dangerous play in a ruck under Law 9.20 which includes the offence of making contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders.
"The Committee upheld the citing complaint, finding that Gibbins had made contact with Vermeulen’s head in a dangerous manner that had warranted a red card. It then determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point. Taking into account the player’s clear disciplinary record and timely expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50 per cent before imposing a two-week suspension."
Gibbins is free to play from Monday 17 February. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.