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RFU changes citing procedure
ESPN Staff
August 31, 2012
Leicester's Manu Tuilagi and Northampton's Chris Ashton shake hands, Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints, Aviva Premiership Play-Off Semi-Final, Welford Road, Leicester, England, May 14, 2011
Manu Tuilagi's infamous punch on Chris Ashton was cited © Getty Images
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External Links: RFU Citing Procedure

The Rugby Football Union has announced a series of changes to citing procedures ahead of the new season of Aviva Premiership rugby with the aim of speeding up the disciplinary process.

The main change to the previous rules sees the length of time citing officers have to cite a player cut from four days to just 24 hours. In the Championship, the previous window has been changed from five days to four.

The new rules also reiterate that the citing officer must be convinced that the "act of foul play merited the award of a red card" while clubs will also have less time to refer an incident to the panel with the new rules stating that this must be done within four hours and not the previous 48 hours. Championship clubs will have 24 hours to consider referring an incident.

Disciplinary hearings will now also happen on the Tuesday after the game and if a club decides to appeal then that will happen on the Thursday.

The changes are reportedly set to be followed by a more controversial move by the International Rugby Board that could see any cited player immediately suspended until their hearing.

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