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Crusaders captain Whitelock suspended for two weeks

Crusaders lock and Super Rugby captain Sam Whitelock has been suspended for two weeks for striking a player in his team’s match against the Cheetahs.

The suspension means that Whitelock will miss this weekend’s match against the Bulls in Pretoria and the match in Round 12 against the Hurricanes as he has been suspended for 2 weeks, up to and including 13 May 2017.

A SANZAAR Judicial Committee Hearing found Whitelock contravened Law 10.4(a) Striking another Player with the arm, after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

The incident occurred in the 71st minute of the match between the Cheetahs and Crusaders played in Bloemfontein on 29 April 2017.

The SANZAAR Judicial Committee Hearing held via video conference on 1 May 2017 was before Terry Willis (Chairman), De Wet Barry and Mike Mika.

The SANZAAR Judicial Committee found:”Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the Player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the citing under Law 10.4(a) Striking another Player with the hand, arm or fist.”

“With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid range entry point of 4 weeks due to the World Rugby stipulation that a strike to the head shall result in at least a mid range entry point sanction. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the fact that the Player had an excellent disciplinary record including 110 Super Rugby games for the Crusaders and 84 test caps for the All Blacks, the Judicial Committee reduced the otherwise applicable sanction from 4 weeks to 2 weeks.”

“The Player is therefore suspended for 2 weeks, up to and including 13 May 2017.”

Hearing Details (date, time and venue): 1 May 2017 10:30(SAST), 6:30(AEST), 8:30(NZST) via video-conference
Judicial Committee Chairman: Terry Willis
Judicial Committee Members: De Wet Barry & Mike Mika
Player: Sam Whitelock
Team: Crusaders
Position: Lock
Date of Incident: 29 April 2017
Nature of Offence: Law 10.4(a) Striking another Player with the arm
Elapsed time in match when incident occurred: 71:05