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IRB appeal extends Thomson ban
ESPN Staff
November 23, 2012
New Zealand's Adam Thomson on the charge, New Zealand v Japan, Rugby World Cup 2011, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand, September 16, 2011
All Blacks flanker Adam Thomson missed his side's clash with Italy due to a suspension © PA Photos
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The International Rugby Board's appeal against the "unduly lenient sanction" handed down to New Zealand's Adam Thomson for stamping or trampling on the head of an opponent has resulted in the ban being extended by a further week.

Thomson was suspended for one week in the wake of the All Blacks' 51-22 victory over Scotland earlier this month and missed New Zealand's game with Italy. The blindside flanker was yellow carded during the game for his challenge on Scotland's Alasdair Strokosch but was also later cited and called to appear before an independent disciplinary panel.

Judicial officer Jean Noel Couraud upheld the citing complaint but viewed the offence to be at the lower end of the IRB's scale. That level of sanction demands a two-week ban but Couraud allowed one week of mitigation, "taking into account, in particular, the player's (Thomson's) conduct at the hearing."

The ruling provoked widespread anger with former England hooker Brian Moore describing it as "ludicrously lenient". IRB chief executive Brett Gosper responded to the criticism by saying that he would review the case that fell under the jurisdiction of the Six Nations Committee.

And following Friday's hearing, this suspension has been extended to two weeks which means he will be free to face England on December 1. The All Blacks opted against fielding him against Wales on Saturday, with Thomson's hearing the day before.

The statement read: "The IRB had appealed on the ground that the independent Judicial Officer's first instance decision - a suspension of one week for trampling under law 10.4(b) - had been unduly lenient. The Appeal Committee found that the application of the low end entry point (two weeks) by the Judicial Officer had not been wrong (and on that point the appeal was not upheld).

"The Appeal Committee went on to say that the Judicial Officer's reduction of the entry point from two weeks to one week had not been consistent with IRB Regulation 17 (and on that point the appeal was upheld). The Appeal Committee considered that the appropriate sanction in this case was two weeks.

"Therefore Adam Thomson's suspension was extended by the Appeal Committee to apply from November 11 to November 25. He will be free to play on November 26."

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