Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick appeared before an independent PRO12 Rugby Disciplinary Committee today, following his sending off for striking Zebre hooker Andrea Manici in the Guinness PRO12 match between Zebre and Ulster on Saturday.
Following an altercation on the floor, Fitzpatrick was shown red after a TMO recommendation. It wasn’t clear to see what started it, but the Ulsterman clearly took contact himself.
A committee, chaired by Simon Thomas, along with Terry Vaux and Robert Williams (all Wales), viewed TV footage of the incident and listened to representations made by and on behalf of the player. They found that the incident was at the low end of the IRB sanctions for the type of offence, carrying a 2 week sanction. [Law 10.4(a): Striking another player with a hand, arm or fist]
In the absence of any aggravating factors and in light of several compelling mitigating factors, including the player’s exemplary previous playing record, the Committee applied a one week reduction from the entry point and suspended the player from playing for one week.
Fitzpatrick is free to resume playing from Monday 6 October 2014 and has the right of appeal.
The incident can be viewed at the beginning of the official highlights video below