Jack O’Donoghue Disciplinary Decision
19th January 2023 By The Editor
EPCR have confirmed the below following Jack O’Donoghue’s independent Disciplinary Hearing today.
The Munster Rugby back row, Jack O’Donoghue, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 3 match against Northampton Saints at Thomond Park.
O’Donoghue was sent off by the referee, Tual Trainini (France), in the 23rd minute of the match for tackling the Northampton Saints second row, David Ribbans, in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.13.
Law 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent dangerously
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 relating to dangerous tackling carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks
An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Ian Unsworth KC (England), Chair, Nigel Williams (Wales) and Martyn Wood (England) heard submissions from O’Donoghue, who accepted the red card decision, from the Munster Rugby Team Manager, Niall O’Donovan, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
The committee upheld the red card decision, finding that in carrying out the tackle in a dangerous manner, O’Donoghue had made contact with Ribbans’ head. It then determined that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
As the player has a clear disciplinary record, and as there were no aggravating factors, it was decided to grant him the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.
O’Donoghue is free to play on Monday, 20 February due to Munster Rugby’s fixture schedule, however, if he applies for and successfully completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday, 30 January.
Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.