Northampton Saints winger Chris Ashton has been suspended for four weeks from rugby for his part in tackling Leicester Tiger Alesana Tuilagi by his hair during his team’s Premiership loss to the Tigers on Saturday.
The nasty incident took place in the first half where Ashton literally dragged the opposing player a good 5-10 yards along the ground. Not surprisingly the hair tackle sparked a brawl between the opposing teams.
Judge Jeff Blackett, the RFU Disciplinary Officer said,
“We accepted that this started by accident but it became clear that at some stage Chris Ashton knew what he was doing.
“If you pull somebody by the hair there is an element of denigration and this act was a catalyst for a mass brawl that resulted in two red cards and significantly affected the image of the game.
“Without any laid down guidance on sanction we have aligned the offence to that of spitting and reduced the entry level points to that off three, six and 10 weeks for low, mid-range and top end respectively.”
“This was a mid-range offence but we have reduced the sanction by two weeks based on the player’sgood record and conduct at the hearing.”
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsh1sWmimYo[/youtube]
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