Croft cleared to play for Reds




Croft cleared to play for Reds QR Queensland Reds flanker David Croft will board a plane for Perth tomorrow with 22 other members of the Reds squad after being cleared to play in Friday’s Investec Super 14 match against the Western Force.

Croft faced a SANZAR Judicial Officer in Brisbane tonight to determine whether any further penalty should be imposed on him as a result of his receiving three yellow cards during the competition so far.

After hearing a lengthy submission from Croft’s counsel, which argued in part that at least two of the cards had been for “technical offences” rather than foul play, SANZAR Judicial Officer Harold Shand QC decided no further penalty was warranted.

The submissions had pointed to Croft’s impeccable disciplinary record in 74 Super Rugby games and five Tests for Australia and that two such cases in 2001 and 2003 which had involved foul play had resulted in no further penalty.

“Looking at each of the three yellow cards in terms of culpability for persistent offending and whether or not a case had been made out for the imposition of a further penalty to give effect to the regulations, the Judicial Officer could not be satisfied that further penalty was warranted and accordingly no further penalty would be imposed on Croft under Regulation 17.20,” a SANZAR statement said.

Croft is now clear to fly to Perth with the Reds squad of 23, which includes Wallaby hooker Stephen Moore who has recovered from a knee injury that required an operation.

Moore suffered the injury in the Round 3 match against the Brumbies on February 17 and underwent an operation to repair a torn meniscus.

Other inclusions in the tour squad are former Hurricanes prop Tama Tuirirangi, who signed with the Reds today as a mid-season reinforcement for the Reds’ depleted front row stocks, and backrower AJ Gilbert as an additional forward.

Wallaby prop Rodney Blake was excluded from the squad to undergo an operation on a long term ankle injury so he will be fully prepared for the Rugby World Cup. The surgery to remove a spur will sideline him for the balance of the Super 14 season.

The Reds’ final 22 will be named later this week. Should winger/fullback Andrew Walker be selected to play, it will be the 50th Super Rugby appearance for the former ACT Brumbies player.

The squad is:

Nic Berry

Mitch Chapman

Quade Cooper

David Croft

Charlie Fetoai

Will Genia

AJ Gilbert

Sean Hardman

James Horwill

Herman Hunt

Peter Hynes

Lloyd Johansson

Tom McVerry

Stephen Moore

Ed O’Donoghue

John Roe (c)

Cam Treloar

Tama Tuirirangi

Ernest Skelton

Ben Tune

Brando Va’aulu

Henari Veratau

Andrew Walker

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