Friday Mar 30, 2012 Calum Clark banned for 32 weeks for breaking another player's arm

Calum Clark banned for 32 weeks for breaking another player's arm
30
Comments

Last night the ruling in the Calum Clark hearing made, with the Northampton Saints loose forward being suspended from the game for 32 weeks. He will only play again in November. Below is a short report with a reverse angle of the incident.

The 22 year old flanker was cited for his seemingly unprovoked attack on Leicester Tigers’ Rob Hawkins, which left the hooker with a broken arm after his elbow was hyperextended.

Hawkins had surgery earlier this week and will be out of rugby for the rest of the season. At one stage it appeared as though he might have been out of a contract as he was playing for a renewal, but Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has stepped out and said that they’ll take care of him.

Clark pleaded guilty to hyperextending Hawkins’ right arm, and to committing ‘an act contrary to good sportsmanship’. As expected, he received a fairly heavy ban, although it appears that in many circles the opinion is that a heftier punishment wouldn’t have gone amiss.

He will be out of rugby until 1 November though, and will also have to pay hearing costs of £500. He has the right to appeal and Northampton Saints are backing their player, reportedly saying they are disappointed with the severity of the ruling.

“The disciplinary panel found that Calum Clark had not intended to injure Rob Hawkins in the course of moving his arm. Accordingly, the unfortunate injury suffered by Rob Hawkins was unintentional.

“In the light of that finding of the disciplinary panel, Northampton Saints is bound to express concern and disappointment at the imposition of such a long suspension, even after significant mitigation in recognition in what was accepted to be Calum Clark’s genuine remorse,” they said.

The RFU have published a full report from the hearing, which you can view here.

The incident was featured when he was first cited so you can watch the full clip here, but below is a quick news report from this morning, which features a reverse angle of what happened. 

Video: Sky News

30 Comments

  •  aceno17
    aceno17

    I am confused as to why the sentence of 64 weeks was slashed in half just because Clark pleaded guilty ? If he pleaded guilty, then why would Northampton and Mallinder consider an appeal ? The sentence was reduced and they continue to disrespect the game by NOT condemning his actions. I am all for a club supporting a player, but in this case they are failing the game. This was an out and out act of thuggery and has NO place in the game. For me the 32 weeks should not begin until Hawkins is fully healthy and wearing a Tigers 1st team jersey. As for clubs supporting the players.... Well done Cockers' for offering Hawkins a new contract this week...

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    The problem is this could easily be crocodile tears. I actually doubt he meant to break Hawkins arm, but I do think he was trying to hurt it. I think when he realised he had caused significant injury he was "upset and worried"....for his own skin!.... Watch children being naughty, they are only sorry when they get caught!!!! As for CC's testimony, he has had a while to review that video no doubt with a lawyer by his side. Perhaps he is telling the complete truth but something tells me he is lying, and to reduce the sentence by 50% for remorse is ridiculous. Any player who has a brain can fake remorse to get their sentence reduced. As I said before, if you're going to get caught (many camera's around the pitch obviously one will pick this up!) then your going to start to feel worried and sorry, not for the other player, but for what is coming your way!

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    I'm guessing he is referring to the eye gouge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_MUIFrwWXQ

    Reply
  •  jimothy
    jimothy

    If he again commits an offence of this nature AGAIN then I would agree that he should be banned from the sport permanently. The original ban of 64 weeks should have stood.

    Reply
  •  jimothy
    jimothy

    Could not agree with you more Andyboy. CC's action on the field are instinctual and heat of the moment. It was downright disgraceful but I'm not sure we should be calling for his head on a platter just yet. If he again commits an offence of this nature then I would agree that he should be banned from the sport permanently. The original ban of 64 weeks should have stood. What is worse in my eyes is, like you say, the reaction of the club. To attempt to defend this action is contemptible especially after watching what is clearly a deliberate attempt to hurt the another player. CC was not even looking at the ball when he pulled on the arm so could not have been aware if it was released or not and so was only doing it for one purpose, to injure! Listening to Jim Mallinder (sp?) speak I always thought of him as an old fashioned and honest rugby player/coach who stood up for the values of the sport whilst combining them well with the commitments of the modern professional game. It turns out I was wrong and am pleased he decided not to pursue the role of England head coach!

    Reply
  • What did Parisse do?

    Reply
  •  oceansnz
    oceansnz

    Great! I was sickened to see him behave the way he did. If the ban is not long enough, then hopefully the shame of being "that guy" throughout his career will go some way towards preventing this behaviour creeping into our game.

    Reply
  •  munstermark
    munstermark

    The Headline is Callum Clarke banned for 32 weeks for breaking another player's arm who is the other player/player's?

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    RD I know you tend to try and remain as impartial over events as possible, but seeing as what we seem to have on this video is rugby fans uniting and voicing their opinions on the length of the ban would it be too much to ask if you feel 32 weeks is too severe, too lenient or just right?

    Reply
  •  juggernauter
    juggernauter

    An action speaks louder than any words. Sorry mate, you've been caught. You are a disgrace for the game of rugby. There is no place in the game for someone like you. But we have an offer for you. Call me. Yours sincerely, UFC comittee

    Reply
  •  frenchie
    frenchie

    Found that really, really shocking. It's down to the judge and this guy is a pure joke. He should have made an example out of it !. Instead he made a mockery of it...disturbing as to how he made up his mind. Biased & partial decision? You better be an Englishman if Blackett is in charge...

    Reply
  •  trollface
    trollface

    anyone know where i can see the super rugby playes of the week.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    The reverse angle makes it even look more disgusting than it allready was. On one hand I can believe that his purpose was not to break his arm but just to hurt or intimidate the other player. Even if so, he took a big risk by doing it and it turned out completely wrong for the other player. I would have had no problem with a longer ban. That said, he will miss the chance to tour this summer. And, at the risk of being naive, I honestly hope this moment will become a turning point in his behaviour on the pitch. Time will tell....

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    That report is bollocks in my opinion. Anyone who has EVER done anything illegal or bad and has been caught knows damn well that you come out with any and every excuse under the sun. The difference with THIS compared to what WE all do is that he had a week to prepare his answers, and a week to review the video over and over so that he could come up with a decent excuse. I don't believe a word he said. Remorse is often the reasons for reduced penalties, but lets face it, in this game with the hundreds of camera angles etc you'd have to be an imbecile to not try and say sorry. You know when you do something bad its going to be caught, trying to apologise is the obvious way. The fact that he said he tried to apologise is there to try and reduce his sentence. If I punch someone in the mouth and then apologise because I lost my cool, that should NOT having any influence on the punishment. It wouldn't have any influence on the other players mouth, so why should the punishment be less. I thought "intent" was never a call, so therefore who cares WHAT he tried to do and WHY he tried to do it. Fact still remains he put another player in an arm bar and broke it... The worst part of all of this is it makes me seem like a bitter old Tigers fan when I have NEVER supported them...

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA That is hilarious, I had guessed at him getting 20 weeks reduced for being "sorry" and for pleading guilty, but to get his sentence halved is so ridiculous it actually becomes funny. Meanwhile Hawkins gets three months out and who knows how much more time for physio etc... Absolutely hilarious.

    Reply
  •  vanadyel
    vanadyel

    Although to be honest, point 6 of the hearing is very interesting, though noone can say if he's being honest or not.

    Reply
  •  vanadyel
    vanadyel

    At the same time, the (unforgivable, and I agree) David Attoub had a 70 week suspension for eye gouging...

    Reply
  •  tullowtank
    tullowtank

    32 weeks is a long time and I am glad to see that this will at the very least be a serious hindrance to his career, a deserved punishment for that horrbile act. With a new coach in charge of England Clark has much to lose out from being banned for the majority of the rest of this calander year, making it very tough to get back into the EPS and even be near the test 22. That said I still think that this ban is far too short. He played the game in a cloud after the incident, I hear. Of course he did, he performed a stupid, dangerous and disgusting act without fully thinking and then knew the would be caught and cited. Players must control themselves, if you cannot and do something like this you should be punished and punished severly. They are grown men, not young boys who should know better. It is time to treat them like adults in the citing procedures and ban them heavily for acts such as this. A year ban would not only have been more appropriate but also much more symbolic and would help drive players like this out of the game and prevent them from doing it again. I've said it before and I am glad to see others agreeing that this kind of behaviour is much worse in my eyes than drug cheats. Players who take recreational drugs aren't cheating like those who take performance enhancing drugs and also are only dangering their own careers, the name and image of the game and their own health through their stupidity. Acts like this endanger another man's livlihood and his future. They must be stopped.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    ok, i've read RFU report, and clark, is just incredibly lucky (for not saying another unappropriate word) so Jeff Blackett (the same guy who crucified Attoub because of eye-gouge and recidivism) decided that: -Clark didn't intent to deliberately hurt Hawkins (when everybody here and there seem to agree that he tried to hurt hawkins) and so avoid a 5 YEARS BAN -The appropriate ban should be 64 WEEKS... - ...but because of Clark remorses, contrition and exemplarity (wasn't he known for being a thug?), the ban will be divided by 2 >> 32 WEEKS! Speechless i don't take any pleasure to see professional players receive huge bans, but when it's necessary, u must be severe. Seem that RFU bans are like Sales: 50% discount for everybody.

    Reply
  •  nathan
    nathan

    So the saints thought his ban should of been as long as hawkins was out injured. Pathetic!

    Reply
  •  trollface
    trollface

    what a dirty fuck. no place in the game for that. should have gotten at least 2 years.

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    The full report from the hearing is now linked to in the above article. It makes for interesting reading, and includes testimonies from Clark himself.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    I don't know what to think about this ban. In one hand, it's long enough to make him understand to stop his thuggeries But in an another hand, i feel that the ban should have been longer, maybe 1 year, as callum is a recidivist, as hawkins will have a long reeducation, and that a large part of the ban will be during holidays............................... waiting for the report to understand more about it

    Reply
  •  campo
    campo

    So if I summarise, you do eye gauging without any injury to the other player and get 70+ weeks of ban (Attoub on Ferris) but you deliberately armlock someone to a point where he can' play for 3 months and get 32 weeks of ban.... and your club find the sanction too severe....

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    I am with the majority on this one. Definitely not long enough. I view this in similar light as gouging, both actions are more than just instinctive lashing out, both require some thought, and both can lead to nasty injuries. EVERYTHING is against Clark in this incident, yet the penalty they impose is only 32 weeks... Surely a huge amount of that will be over the pre-season sessions anyway... I am actually shocked at how this can be viewed as it was, "moving his arm" really? Someone give me the number for Calum Clarks lawyer, I could do with having that if I ever get myself into trouble: "No your honour, I just held my fist out and he ran onto it about 5-6 times" It is bullshit, it was after the whistle, there was no need for him to move someones arm like that, and his "genuine remorse" probably only came about when Cockerill had a quiet word with him.. Let me guess they imposed a 52 week ban but then reduced it by 10 weeks for the guilty plea and then reduced 10 weeks again for his "remorse". The stance from the Saints just goes to show that teams are in it for the win at whatever the costs... Losing a lot of respect for this game..... I suppose we shouldn't let this incident get to us, but the ridiculous bans for some things and not for others is getting old and tiresome.

    Reply
  •  tex15
    tex15

    This is ridiculous, how can Matt Stevens get suspended for two years for taking cocaine, whereas this THUG commits nothing short of assault AFTER the whistle and only gets 32 weeks. Most of which will be over the off-season. I feel he should have a significantly longer ban (minimum 1 year) and his case should be referred to the appropriate authorities for criminal prosecution! As rugby players we tend to be physically stronger and more intimidating than the average person and therefore we have a duty to be disciplined. This is a result of the complete opposite of this and goes against everything that rugby is about!

    Reply
  •  ulsterbygraceofgod
    ulsterbygraceofgod

    I love the comment at the end of the write up for "Young Callum Clark red carded for a headbutt - JWC" video "Let's hope in the future we see more of this highly regarded youngster, but for all the right reasons." Growing up fail.

    Reply
  •  flyingpepper
    flyingpepper

    That's rubbish 32 weeks is nowhere near enough Hope he never buts an England shirt on again

    Reply
  •  nivek
    nivek

    "The disciplinary panel found that Calum Clark had not intended to injure Rob Hawkins in the course of moving his arm. Accordingly, the unfortunate injury suffered by Rob Hawkins was unintentional." It is so clear from the video that he intended to injure Rob Hawkins. I don't know how the disciplinary panel came up with that conclusion. Also, it shouldn't matter a damn if he shows 'genuine' remorse... sure, his ban would be greatly extended if he didn't - and he knows that. He will do anything he thinks will work to shorten his ban. Was this Calum Clarks explanation: "I was just trying to get his arm out of the way.... by bending it backwards".

    Reply
  •  tanora
    tanora

    What a disgusting, scummy piece of shit he is. Right now, I feel like 32 weeks isn't enough. England fans, would you ever really want someone like this representing your country?

    Reply

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Calum Clark banned for 32 weeks for breaking another player's arm | RugbyDump