Zander Fagerson's disciplinary hearing set as Scotland sweat over prop's World Cup prospects
The tighthead prop was initially shown yellow by referee Ben O’Keeffe after making contact with France hooker Pierre Bourgarit’s head as he attempted a ruck clear-out but the decision was later upgraded to a red in one of the first uses of the ‘Bunker’ foul play review system at Test level.
The worry in the Scotland camp is that Fagerson will now be given a suspension which could see him miss the start of their Rugby World Cup campaign. Gregor Townsend’s side have two games to play before the tournament begins – against France in Saint-Etienne this Saturday and Georgia at Murrayfield on August 26 – so a three-game ban would see Fagerson miss those matches and the World Cup opener against South Africa in Marseille on September 10. Anything longer would start to affect Scotland’s remaining Pool B games, against Tonga, Romania and Ireland.
Fagerson was banned for four games when he was sent off against Wales in the 2021 Six Nations for a similar offence.
The player will attend the hearing on Tuesday via video conference and his case will be heard by an independent judicial committee chaired by Mike Hamlin (England), who will be joined by former international Jamie Corsi (Wales) and former international referee Juan Pablo Spirandelli (Argentina).
Fagerson received his red card against France for “an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.20 (a) (Dangerous play in a ruck or maul. ‘A player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without binding onto another player in the ruck or maul’.)”