ARU disappointed after SANZAR appeal Hooper ban

The Australian Rugby Union have issued a statement saying that they are “extremely
disappointed” that SANZAR have appealed the sanction handed down to Wallabies
flanker Michael Hooper.

Hooper was found guilty in a SANZAR hearing of contravening Law 10.4 (a) (punching
or striking) and was issued the sanction of a one week suspension.

The ruling meant that Hooper would be able to serve his suspension this weekend
and still be available to play in the Rugby Championship decider next weekend.

However, under the SANZAR Judicial Rules, all formal judicial hearings are
reviewed by an independent Appeals Review Officer and in this case the review
officer, the Honourable Graeme Mew (Canada), has examined the Hooper case and
in his determination, referred it to a SANZAR Appeals Committee to review the
sanction handed down by Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC.

A SANZAR Appeals Committee, chaired by Jannie Lubbe SC, with Terry Willis and
Mike Heron QC as members, will hear the appeal via videoconference on Sunday
2 August 2015 after which Hooper will know if he will be permited to play against
New Zealand.

Meanwhile the Australia Rugby Union say that they “will vigorously defend
the SANZAR appeal on the severity of the sanction handed to the player.”

“Furthermore, the ARU intends to cross-appeal the Judicial Officer’s original
finding that the player was guilty of committing an act of foul play,”
said the ARU in a statement.

Both SANZAR and the ARU have said that they will make no further comment on
this matter until the Appeal Hearing is complete.

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