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Rugby World Cup: Peter Wright hits out at lenient Sean O'Brien suspension

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 15/10/2015

Peter Wright believes World Rugby need to show greater consistency in their punishments
Peter Wright believes World Rugby need to show greater consistency in their punishments

Former Scotland and Lions prop Peter Wright has blasted the disciplinary process that saw Ireland's Sean O'Brien receive only a one-week suspension for striking France's Pascal Pape.

Wright, 47, who won 21 caps for Scotland and also sits on the SRU's disciplinary panel, was aggrieved after both Jonny Gray and Ross Ford were ruled out of not only their country's quarter-final against Australia on Sunday, but the remainder of the tournament after being banned for a dangerous tackle in the Dark Blues' pool win over Samoa.

"For me, that was a premeditated punch," Wright said of the O'Brien incident which will see Joe Schmidt's starting openside miss Sunday's last-eight tie with Argentina.

"It wasn't reckless, it was deliberate so you would think that punch would get a longer ban.

"But because they are working to guidelines, the guys making the decisions are limited in what they can hand out. This all comes from a few years back when there were massive inconsistencies in what the unions around the world would be handing out for similar offences.

"The Ford/Gray case is not the worst and when compared to the O'Brien case, where he has thrown a deliberate punch, then it does look a bit unfair.

"Losing both Ross and Jonny is a blow. My heart always backs Scotland to win but after this my head is saying it will be Australia in the semi-finals."

Scotland back-rower Josh Strauss was another who disagreed with the decision to ban his team-mates and says he will use the perceived injustice as motivation for the quarter-final tussle with the Wallabies.

"I was angry," said the South African-born Glasgow star. "But it motivates me. I want to put in a performance. I want to make them proud because they have made all of us proud."

Belfast Telegraph

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