Marco Filipucci, the Benetton Treviso number eight, appeared via telephone conference today (Wed 23 Mar 2011) before an independent Celtic Rugby Disciplinary Committee convened as a result of the player being cited for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10.4(j) following the Magners League match against Glasgow last Friday.
The Committee, chaired by Hugh Logan (Ireland), alongside Dr Barry O’Driscoll (Ireland) and Russell Howell (Wales), having viewed the footage from BBC Alba and Glasgow Rugby and listened to the player’s explanation, upheld the citing and, having deemed the offence to be in the mid-range of the IRB’s sanctions for this type of offence, suspended the player for 5 weeks from the date of the hearing.
In arriving at the sanction, the Committee took into account the various mitigating factors but also the need to provide a deterrent for this type of dangerous play. Marco Filipucci is thus able to resume playing on or after Wednesday 27th April 2011 and has the right of appeal.
Footnote: 10.4(j) states that lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.