Rory Sutherland: Scotland prop clear to face England in Six Nations following red card at weekend

Rory Sutherland: Scotland prop clear to face England in Six Nations following red card at weekend

Sutherland was sent off just 75 seconds into Worcester Warriors’ defeat against Bath in the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday; the 27-year-old has been banned for three weeks, meaning he will be free to play when Scotland host England at Murrayfield next month

Last Updated: 12/01/22 1:42pm


Rory Sutherland will be able to play for Scotland against England

Rory Sutherland will be able play in Scotland’s Six Nations opener against England after being handed a three-week ban following his red card in the Gallagher Premiership at the weekend.

The British and Irish Lions prop was sent off just 75 seconds into Worcester Warriors’ 22-19 defeat away Bath on Sunday for making illegal contact with the head of opponent Will Stuart.

Sutherland has since been suspended for three weeks for dangerous tackling in contrary to World Rugby Law 9.13, which means he will be back in time to play against England at Murrayfield on February 5.

“The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play in which his head had made direct contact with that of the opposing player,” disciplinary panel chair Charles Cuthbert said. “It was not accepted that the act merited a red card.

“The player sought to persuade the panel that when applying the Head Contact Process (HCP) it was possible to apply mitigating factors on account of the ball carrier’s sideways step shortly before contact.

“The panel considered the oral submissions from the club and the player as well as those of the RFU but did not find that the movement of the Bath player was sufficient to allow a reduction from red card to yellow card. The charge was therefore upheld.

“The player had accepted that he committed an act of foul play, has a clean disciplinary record and was open and direct in response to questions asked.

Sutherland in action for Scotland during the 2021 Six Nations

Sutherland in action for Scotland during the 2021 Six Nations

“The panel allowed 50 per cent mitigation accordingly. There were no aggravating features present and therefore the sanction remains three weeks.

“The player sought permission to apply to World Rugby to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme which the panel approved.”

Should he complete the World Rugby coaching course, Sutherland will be free to play in Worcester’s Premiership match at home to Northampton Saints on January 29. However, the 27-year-old will definitely miss the Warriors’ European Challenge Cup matches against Toulon and Zebre.

Exeter Chiefs prop Alec Hepburn, meanwhile, has also received a three-week suspension after being sent off for a tip tackle in the Chiefs’ 14-12 Premiership defeat at Harlequins last Saturday.

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