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 with the local media before the Gloucester team set off on the long trip north to Newcastle, Director of Rugby David Humphreys discussed his team selection and stated that Friday night's meeting will be a challenging one.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, Matt Kvesic was looking forward to the trip to Newcastle Falcons, and the captain is looking to lead from the front with plenty for the Cherry and Whites to work on.
Gloucester saw a 12-0 lead overturned by Harlequins on Friday night as the visitors ran out 22-15 winners. After the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke about missed opportunities on the night.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, James Hudson explained his excitement for tonight's game with Harlequins and that he is backing the Cherry and White squad to impress during the next set of Aviva Premiership games.
There are three changes to Gloucester Rugby's starting line-up for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Newcastle Falcons. Steve McColl will make his first Premiership start for the club.