France lock suspended and will miss first 3 RWC pool games

Ruben Hill
August 21, 2019

Lock Paul Gabrillagues will miss France's first three Rugby World Cup pool games after he was suspended for six weeks for hitting a Scottish opponent's head during an illegal charge into a ruck.

World Rugby found Gabrillagues, 26, guilty of a head-first challenge on Scotland's John Barclay during their 32-3 win over the visitors in Nice on Saturday and the Frenchman accepted that it was a unsafe foul worthy of a red card.

The second-row will now miss the start of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

He wasn't sanctioned at the time but Gabrillagues was cited after the match.

The disciplinary committee also considered the written evidence and listened to submissions by and on behalf of the player, in which Gabrillagues accepted that the alleged act did amount to foul play worthy of a red card.

The 10-week suspension was reduced by 40 percent as Gabrillagues admitted his guilt and issued an apology.

The ban means that Grabrillagues, who has 13 France caps, will be out until October 7, by which point France will have played three of their four pool matches with only the potentially pivotal game against England on October 12 in Yokohama remaining.

British media reports claimed Gabrillagues made contact with Scottish flanker John Barclay's head.

Taking into account Gabrillagues' playing schedule, the suspension will end at midnight on Sunday, 6 October, 2019 after which he is free to resume playing.

He has 48 hours to appeal the decision.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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