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 after the 55-0 win over CA Brive, Jonny May told GRTV that he's delighted that the team's hard work is starting to pay dividends but was equally happy for his friend and team mate, Charlie Sharples, on what was a big night for his fellow winger.
Speaking to the local media this week, David Humphreys insisted that Gloucester are looking forward to kicking off the new European Rugby Challenge Cup against Brive on Thursday evening, although an unfamiliar opponent and a five day turnaround will pose a challenge.
Director of Rugby David Humphreys felt that his Gloucester side put themselves in a position to put Saracens under real pressure at Allianz Park on Saturday, praising his team's commitment and defence, while admitting that a lack of accuracy hit their chances in the second half.
Speaking to the local media at Allianz Park, Tom Savage was disappointed after the defeat at Saracens, but claimed Gloucester did plenty of good things and could've taken more than a losing bonus point.