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Kockott escapes with lenient three-week ban for 'low end' eye gouge

Marc-Antoine Rallier has also been suspended for one week following a dangerous tackle on Peter O’Mahony.

Kockott has been handed a three-week ban.
Kockott has been handed a three-week ban.
Image: Icon Sport via Getty Images

CASTRES SCRUM-HALF Rory Kockott has escaped with a three-week ban despite an independent disciplinary hearing finding him guilty of making contact with the eye area of Munster’s Chris Cloete.

Kockott was cited by the match citing commissioner after the incident in the 21st minute of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup clash between the sides at the Stade Pierre Fabre.

The 32-year-old French international was found guilty of breaking Law 9.12, but under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, the offence was deemed ‘low end’ and he has been handed a three-week suspension.

It means Kockott will be available to play in Castres’ round five game against Exeter Chiefs on 13 January. 

“The committee upheld the citing complaint in that it warranted a red card and found that Kockott had made contact with Cloete’s eye area,” an EPCR statement read.

“It was decided that the act of foul play was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

“Due to the player’s guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing, the committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a three-week suspension.

“Kockott is free to play on Monday, 7 January 2019, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”

Meanwhile, Castres hooker Marc-Antoine Rallier has been suspended for one week following a dangerous tackle on Peter O’Mahony in the same match. 

Rallier was cited by the match citing commissioner for tackling O’Mahony dangerously in the 69th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.13, an offence he was sin-binned for by referee Wayne Barnes.

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Ryan Bailey

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