The 12-week ban imposed on Olivier Azam of Gloucester Rugby for kicking during the Guinness Premiership match at Vicarage Road on September 27 remains in place following today's appeal hearing.
Gloucester Rugby was successful with its appeal in arguing that the offence was best categorised at the mid range entry point of eight weeks rather than top end of 12+ weeks on the scale of seriousness.
However, the panel of Ian Mill QC, Philip Evans and David Hurst decided that the sanction should stay the same based on the following:
* The offence should be categorised at the mid range rather than the top end entry point decided by the original panel
* Six weeks should be added to the eight weeks for his previous disciplinary record, bringing the total to 14 weeks
* Two weeks should be deducted for the player's guilty plea and other mitigating factors which will be outlined in the full judgment available in due course
Azam is therefore still suspended until December 28. He can play again on December 29.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Newcastle Falcons (kick off 3pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys emphasised the importance this weekend of Gloucester building on last week's impressive home victory against the Exeter Chiefs.
Speaking to the assembled national and local media, try-scorer Jonny May was delighted and relieved to have tasted victory on Saturday evening, and is looking forward to the European Rugby Challenge Cup final.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Gloucester Rugby return to Aviva Premiership action against the Newcastle Falcons on Saturday (Kingsholm, kick off 3pm), and make several changes to the side that defeated Exeter Chiefs at home last weekend.