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Azam banned for 12 weeks for Borthwick kick
Scrum.com
October 7, 2009
Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam waits for a lineout, Cardiff Blues v Gloucester, Heineken Cup, Kingsholm, Gloucester, England, January 18, 2009
Olivier Azam has paid a heavy price for kicking England's captain © Getty Images
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  • Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam has been banned for 12 weeks for kicking England skipper Steve Borthwick in the head during his side's 19-16 Guinness Premiership loss to Saracens in September.

    Azam pleaded guilty before an RFU Disciplinary Panel in the wake of damning video evidence, having claimed after the game the incident was accidental.

    Borthwick was sent to hospital for tests on his eye ball and eye socket at the time, but he has since been cleared of any long-term damage.

    Azam will effectively be banned for the rest of 2009. He will next be available for Gloucester's Premiership match against Worcester on January 2.

  • Former Wales and British and Irish Lions back-rower Colin Charvis has been charged with drink-driving.

    Charvis was pulled over by police and arrested on Sunday following a night out in Cardiff. The 36-year-old, who was capped 94 times by Wales and scored 22 international tries, is to appear at the city's magistrates' court later this month.

    Newport Gwent Dragons, where Charvis is employed as a defence coach, declined to comment today.

  • In a double suspension blow for Gloucester, Adam Eustace is also unavailable for three weeks after stamping on Justin Marshall in the same match at Vicarage Road. Bath's Joe Maddock fared better, having his dangerous tackle charge dismissed after pleading not guilty.

  • All Blacks Jamie Mackintosh and Jimmy Cowan ended speculation about their rugby futures today by confirming they will remain with Southland and the Highlanders.

    Mackintosh, 24, said he had decided to stay in Invercargill after considering a transfer to Wellington and the Hurricanes. "I was tempted by the chance of playing in a different environment," the prop said. "But in the end it came down to where I was from and where I belong. I'm a Southlander and as such, my first Super 14 allegiance is to the Highlanders and that's where I'll stay."

    There had also been speculation about Cowan moving, possibly to Auckland and the Blues, but a Highlanders statement said it was never a serious consideration for the halfback.

    Cowan, 27, has played 67 games for the Highlanders and captained them in 2009. He has played 28 tests for the All Blacks since 2004. Mackintosh has played 23 matches for the Highlanders since his debut in 2007. He made his All Blacks debut on the northern hemisphere tour last year.

  • Munster prop John Hayes faces a six-week stint on the sidelines after his stamp on Leinster's Cian Healy in their Magners League clash.

    Hayes was red carded at the time, and after considering match footage and all other evidence, the IRFU Disciplinary Panel decided to ban the prop until November 14. Hayes can appeal the decision.

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