Brumbies to appeal Speight’s five week ban

The Brumbies will appeal winger Henry Speight’s five week suspension for tip tackling Stormers captain Juan De Jongh in their qualifying final.

The Brumbies plan to appeal the ban on two grounds – the severity or the length of the ban and the incident being classified as a tip tackle.

Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones has met with former Australian Rugby Union chairman Peter McGrath who is a lawyer and they have decided to appeal the SANZAR judicial hearing’s decision.

The incident happened in the 74th minute of the match last week and didn’t really impact on the result as the Brumbies had effectively already won the match.

Speight tackled De Jongh and pulled him sideways which resulted in him flipping over sideways and then landing on his head. Speight was almost immediately shown a red card and left the field.

The winger has since been given a five week ban which rules him out of this week’s match and a possible final as well as the Wallabies’ first two Tests of the Rugby Championships against South Africa and Argentina.

The Brumbies feel that the tackle was not a typical tip tackle and that Speight is being made a scapegoat as previous lifting tackles have not resulted in such sever penalties.

“We’ve decided we will appeal. I’ve discussed it with Henry and we’ve been talking to the lawyers today,” Jones told the Caberra Times.

“We’ve looked at the findings closely and we’ll appeal some of those findings and also the severity of the sentence in comparison to some of the previous incidents.

“Even though there’s a statement that we’re trying to discourage this, why is he the guy who seems to have been singled out for what’s a particularly cruel and unusual punishment.

“We’re going to appeal two things – the application of what is viewed as a lifting tackle and whether that’s the right rule and also in relation to the harshness of the suspension.

“That was our defence right from the start [that it wasn’t a lifting tackle] and whilst we presented a lot of evidence to that case, it was still deemed that, yes, it’s a lifting tackle.”

Update : SANZAR have confirmed that the Brumbies have lodged an appeal against the outcome of thejudicial hearing held on Tuesday 23 June.

A SANZAR Appeals Committee, chaired by Nigel Hampton QC, with Lex Mpati and Terry Willis as members, will hear the appeal via videoconference on Tuesday 30 June 2015

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