Will Muir has had his appeal against a four-week suspension refused following an independent Appeal Committee Hearing by video conference today (Thursday, 23 December).
Muir was cited for allegedly making contact with the eye of the Leinster flanker, Josh Van der Flier, in the 14th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.12. The complaint was made by the match Citing Commissioner, Jeff Mark (Wales).
On Wednesday 15 December, an independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Philippe Cavalieros (France), Chair, Val Toma (Romania) and Chris Watts (Wales), considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Muir, from Muir’s legal representative, Sam Jones and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
Muir pleaded not guilty to the charge. In his plea, he accepted the brief description in the citing complaint but did not accept that he committed an act of Foul Play. Muir also asserted the incident was an accident.
The 26-year-old has reached out to van der Flier to apologise for the accident. The Leinster flanker fully accepts the apology and understands there was no malicious intent involved and that it was an accident.
The committee upheld the citing complaint and believe the incident warranted a red card. It was then determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point, reduced by two weeks.
Bath Rugby appealed the suspension with the appeal hearing taking place via video conference on Thursday 23 December.
The independent Appeal Committee comprising Pamela Woodman (Scotland), Chair, Jamie Corsi (Wales) and Donal Courtney (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Muir, from Muir’s legal representative, Sam Jones and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
The Appeal Committee was not satisfied on the balance of probability that the decision appealed against was wrong, or that the original Disciplinary Committee had fallen into error, and the appeal was therefore refused.
Muir will remain suspended and is free to play on Monday 10 January 2022.
“I would like to apologise for the accident with Josh,” Muir said.
“My actions certainly weren’t deliberate, and I am grateful he has accepted my apology and understands there was no malice involved. I also appreciate the committee’s view the incident wasn’t intentional.
“I am genuinely gutted with the outcome of the hearing because all I want to do is put my best foot forward for Bath and help the club’s position on the field.”