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Brits suspended for four weeks of Super rugby

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Bulls Super rugby hooker Schalk Brits has been suspended for four weeks of Super rugby for physically abusing another player.

A SANZAAR Judicial Committee Hearing has found Schalk Brits of the Bulls guilty of contravening Law 9.12: A player must not physically abuse anyone after he was issued with a Red Card during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Brits has been suspended for 4 weeks, up to an including 4 May 2019. This suspension covers the period of the Player’s next 4 Super Rugby matches.

The incident occurred in the 58th minute of the match between the Sharks and Bulls played at Johnson Kings Park in Durban on 30 March 2019.

The SANZAAR Judicial Hearing held via video conference on Tuesday 2 April 2019 8am(SAST), 5pm(AEDT), 7pm(NZDT) was heard by Helen Morgan, David Croft and Lawrence Sephaka.

In her finding, the Judicial Committee Chairperson Helen Morgan ruled the following:

“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, Gert van der Merwe, the Judicial Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.12.”

“”With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level. The evidence demonstrated the Player contacted the opposing Player’s head with more than one punch. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s demonstrated remorse, extensive experience, the fact the Player’s actions were in self-defence and the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Judicial Committee reduced the suspension by 2 weeks. The Judicial Committee was conscious of the fact that the Player was not the instigator of the incident, but due to the Player’s previous two periods of suspension for striking offences, the Judicial Committee were unable to provide the full 50% discount for the sanction. This leads to a sanction of 4 weeks.”

“The player is therefore suspended from all forms of the game for 4 weeks, up to and including 4 May 2019.”

Hearing Details (date, time and venue): Tuesday 2 April 2019 8am(SAST), 5pm(AEDT), 7pm(NZDT) via video-conference
Judicial Committee Chairperson: Helen Morgan
Judicial Committee Members: David Croft and Lawrence Sephaka
Player: Schalk Brits
Team: Bulls
Position: Hooker
Date of Incident: 30 March 2019
Nature of Offence: Law 9.12: A player must not physically abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to punching or striking with the hand or arm.
Elapsed time in match when incident occurred: 58min

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