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France second row Gabrillagues handed six-week ban for illegal clearout

A World Rugby disciplinary committee deemed that the act of foul play against Scotland was intentional.

Gabrillagues in action against Scotland last Saturday.
Gabrillagues in action against Scotland last Saturday.
Image: Icon Sport

FRANCE SECOND ROW Paul Gabrillagues has been handed a six-week ban after a World Rugby disciplinary committee found him guilty of intentionally committing an act of foul play during last Saturday’s Test against Scotland.

Gabrillagues was cited for dangerous play at a ruck — namely a dangerous and utterly reckless 16th-minute clearout on Scotland’s John Barclay — during France’s 32-3 win in Nice last weekend.

Appearing in front of a World Rugby disciplinary committee this afternoon, the Stade Francais lock was found guilty of breaching Law 9.20 — a player must not charge into a ruck or maul.

The disciplinary committee, having considered the evidence and the submissions, deemed that the foul play was intentional, the offence took place at considerable pace and with considerable force to the opposition’s head such that the player sustained an injury.

It was determined that Gabrillagues’ act merited a top-end entry point which, according to World Rugby’s sanctions table within Regulation 17, carries a minimum 10-week suspension, but his punishment was reduced to six weeks owing to his ‘early acknowledgement of guilt, his apology and expression of remorse to his opponent and his good conduct at the hearing.’

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Gabrillagues will now miss France’s remaining World Cup warm-up games and Les Bleus’ opening three pool outings in Japan, against Argentina, USA and Tonga, as his suspension is in place until midnight on Sunday 6 October. 

It is likely Jacques Brunel will now replace Gabrillagues in his 31-man World Cup squad. 

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Ryan Bailey

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