Ulster's Tom O'Toole suspended for three weeks

The replacement prop saw red in this month’s defeat to Toulouse.

Tom O'Toole was sent off against Toulouse earlier this month.
Tom O'Toole was sent off against Toulouse earlier this month.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ULSTER PROP TOM O’Toole has been suspended for three weeks after his red card from this month’s Champions Cup Round of 16 second leg defeat to Toulouse was upheld.

O’Toole was dismissed in the 65th minute of the Kingspan Stadium showdown, after the replacement’s shoulder connected with the head of Anthony Jelonch.

European Professional Club Rugby [EPCR] released a statement this afternoon after the independent disciplinary hearing.

It confirmed that O’Toole tackled Jelonch “in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.13″. (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 committee, comprised of Gareth Graham (England), chair, Marcello d’Orey (Portugal) and Martyn Wood (England), considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from O’Toole, who accepted the red card decision, from Ulster’s Director of Rugby Operations, Bryn Cunningham, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

“The committee upheld the red card decision, finding that in executing a tackle in a dangerous manner, O’Toole had made contact with Jelonch’s head,” the statement notes.

“It 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.

“Due to the player’s 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.”

O’Toole is free to play on Monday, 9 May, though could feature from Monday, 2 May, should he apply for, and complete, a World Rugby Coaching Intervention.

matthew-carley-awards-a-red-card-to-tom-otoole English referee Matthew Carley awards a red card to O’Toole. Source: DICKSONDIGITAL/John Dickson/INPHO

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

O’Toole’s Ulster team-mate, Michael Lowry, meanwhile, has been cited for an incident in the same game.

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Lowry was issued with a citing commissioner warning for “making contact with Thomas Ramos in the air in a dangerous manner in the 60th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.17″.

The match Citing Commissioner was Danae Zamboulis (Greece).

Players who accumulate three citings or three yellow cards for foul play offences, or a combination of both, during the pool stages and knockout stages of the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, will be required to attend a disciplinary hearing.


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