Yesterday we focussed on a bit of alleged foul play from Ronan O’Gara but he wasn’t the only player to be cited following Round 5 of the Heineken Cup. Racing Metro centre Fabrice Estebanez suffered the same fate after he knocked out David Strettle.
While it’s not entirely clear if Strettle was out cold from the swinging arm or from his face hitting the Stade de la Beaujoire turf, Estebenanez will have to front up at his hearing in Dublin on Thursday.
The incident occured minutes after kickoff in the Pool 1 meeting between Racing Metro and Saracens in Nantes. A complaint was made by citing commision Eddie Walsh post match.
The Racing Metro back’s alleged offence falls under law 10.4(a) Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the first or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).
Recommended IRB sanctions for Foul Play: Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-Range: 5 weeks; Top End: 8+ to 52 weeks. Estebanez’s punishment will depend on a number of factors, including testimonials from players, his previous disciplinary record, and if the incident was viewed as clearly malicious or not.
The knock is fairly similar to one we saw late last year, when All Black Andrew Hore took out Wales’ Bradley Davies with a swinging arm in Cardiff. Hore received a 5 week suspension.