Rugby Union: French rugby body cuts Audebert's ban
Body representing French professional rugby overruled an eight-week ban handed down on Clermont flanker Alexandre Audebert for stamping
PARIS, February 18, 2008 - The body representing French professional
rugby, the LNR, on Friday overruled an eight-week ban handed down on Clermont
flanker Alexandre Audebert for stamping on Munster outside-half Ronan O'Gara
during a European Cup game.
The LNR reduced to 30 days the ban handed out by tournament organisers
European Rugby Cup (ERC), clearing Audebert to resume playing in the French
Top 14 from February 23.
ERC bans have until now been applied to Top 14 games, but the LNR has long
called for the scrapping of carpet bans for all competitions.
Tellingly, the LNR has brought Audebert's punishment into line with that
meted out to Munster hooker Jerry Flannery, whose own eight-week ban for
stamping on Julien Bonnaire in the same match as Audebert was yellow-carded
was cut to four by the ERC on appeal.
The French rugby federation (FFR) has appealed the decision taken by LNR,
the national professional rugby union league of France which is split into two
divisions, the Top 14 and ProD2.
"We have appealed the decision taken by the LNR disciplinary committee,"
FFR vice-president told AFP.
Under Article 17 of the laws of the sport's governing body, the
International Rugby Board, national federations are duty bound to enforce
sanctions taken at international level.