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Shields' four-week ban after red card against Munster overturned on appeal
Shields had been suspended for four weeks but that has been struck off after his appeal.

BRAD SHIELDS’ FOUR-week ban after a red card against Munster in the Champions Cup last weekend has been overturned after an appeal.

The Wasps captain was sent off by referee Romain Poite for a high tackle on Dave Kilcoyne in the first half of Munster’s bonus-point win against Coventry last weekend.

Shields was then handed a four-week ban by an independent disciplinary panel.

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However, Wasps and Shields appealed that suspension and it has now been struck off.

An independent appeal committee has ruled that Shields’ actions should only have resulted in a yellow card due to “on-field mitigation.”

The Wasps back row – who played in the second row last weekend due to injuries and Covid cases at the English club – is now free to play immediately.

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The independent appeal committee “agreed with the original decision that the red card threshold was passed, however, it decided that the Disciplinary Committee was wrong to find that there was no on-field mitigation.”

EPCR’s statement says the committee “determined that there was on-field mitigation in that there was a late change in the dynamics of the tackle, due to the tackle of another Wasps player, Thomas Young (No 7). This reduced the red card to a yellow card for the purposes of World Rugby’s Head Contact Process.”

As such, Sheilds’ appeal has been upheld, with his four-week suspension overturned.

“Brad Shields has had his appeal against a four-week suspension upheld following a hearing by video conference before an independent Appeal Committee yesterday (Thursday 16 December),” reads the full EPCR statement.

“Shields was sent off by referee Romain Poite (France) during his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 1 match against Munster Rugby at the Coventry Building Society Arena for tackling the Munster prop, Dave Kilcoyne, in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.13, and was subsequently suspended by an independent Disciplinary Committee.

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brad-shields-receives-a-red-card-from-romain-poite Dan Sheridan / INPHO Shields is sent off by Romain Poite. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“Law 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent dangerously. Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 relating to dangerous tackling carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

“The independent Appeal Committee comprising Sir James Dingemans (England), Chair, Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Roddy Dunlop (Scotland), considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Shields, from the Wasps Team Manager, Dave Bassett, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

“The Appeal Committee agreed with the original decision that the red card threshold was passed, however, it decided that the Disciplinary Committee was wrong to find that there was no on-field mitigation.

“The Appeal Committee determined that there was on-field mitigation in that there was a late change in the dynamics of the tackle, due to the tackle of another Wasps player, Thomas Young (No 7). This reduced the red card to a yellow card for the purposes of World Rugby’s Head Contact Process.

“Therefore the appeal was upheld, and Shields is free to play.”

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