In 1823, William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball in his arms and ran with it. And for the next 156 years forwards have been trying to work out why. - Tasker Watkins VC, LJ.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Faan Rautenbach citing - part two.

I had intended - indeed, promised - to deal with the Faan Rautenbach citing further.

As it happens, it got over-taken by events. Rautenbach was given a three week suspension.

The decision - click here - is not short, but is interesting. It's well worth a read, and it's one which I will deal with in more detail.

For the moment, what I would say about it is that it's in many ways exemplary, but also makes me deeply uneasy about issues of fair procedure. The reasoning, the way in which it's set out, the way in which the issues are dealt with, and the way in which what would seem at first glance to have been a very light suspension indeed for the offence actually turns out to have been entirely justifiable - all these are models of their kind.

But, while Faan Rautenbach didn't raise the issue of the hearing being dealt with over the telephone, and was quite happy for the hearing to be dealt with in that way, it's this that makes me uneasy about fair procedure. There's also an issue about the London Irish forwards coach being present and giving evidence about rucking, which in another case could have raised problems.

It's to those issues that I'll return in separate posts, as soon as possible.

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