Northampton Saints fly-half Dan Biggar has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing following the Club’s Challenge Cup clash against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm.
Because of the men in Black, Green and Gold’s forthcoming fixture schedule, Biggar is free to play again from Monday 23 May – however, if he applies for and completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play from Monday 2 May.
Biggar was sent off by referee Sam Grove-White (Scotland) in the 51st minute of the match for tackling Gloucester Rugby centre Chris Harris in a manner in contravention of Law 9.13.
The independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Philippe Cavalieros (France), chair Marcello d’Orey (Portugal), and Mitchell Read (England) heard submissions from Biggar – who accepted the red card decision – from Northampton Saints’ Team Manager, Maurice Hartery, and from EPCR Disciplinary Officer Liam McTiernan.
The committee upheld the red card decision, finding that in executing a tackle which warranted a red card, Biggar had made contact with Harris’s head. It was then determined that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
Given his guilty plea and clear disciplinary record, and as there were no aggravating factors, it was decided to grant the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.
If Biggar applies for and completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, the suspension is reduced further and he will be free to play from Monday 2 May.
Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.