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Hines hit with six-week stamping ban

Scotland international lock Nathan Hines has received a six-week ban for stamping on an opponent.

Clermont Auvergne forward Hines, who is now retired from Test rugby, was cited by match commissioner John Cole for stamping on Scarlets wing Morgan Stoddart during a Heineken Cup game last Saturday.

Hines, who appeared before independent judicial officer Simon Thomas at a hearing in Dublin on Thursday, pleaded not guilty to the offence. However, in a statement, European Rugby Cup said Thomas upheld the citing complaint and found that Hines had "stamped on his opponent and had connected on more than one occasion".

Thomas decided the offence warranted a mid-range entry point of a five-week suspension, but he added a week due to 35-year-old Hines' poor disciplinary record.

He will miss Clermont's Heineken Cup trip to Exeter on Saturday, and cannot play again until November 26, although he will be available for Clermont's crunch Pool Five clashes against holders Leinster in December.

Wales international Stoddart, meanwhile, has been cleared to continue playing following his sending-off against Clermont. Stoddart was shown an automatic red card by Irish referee Peter Fitzgibbon after receiving two yellows in a game his team lost 49-16 at Stade Marcel Michelin.

But ERC independent judicial officer Anthony Davies, who considered the matter by means of written submissions, decided the red card was sufficient punishment, tournament organisers announced.

Davies concluded that neither yellow card offence involved foul play directed at an opponent and that no additional action was necessary. It means that Stoddart is available for the Scarlets' Heineken Cup appointment at home to Leinster on Saturday.

Glasgow wing Tommy Seymour, though, has been banned for a week and will miss his team's Heineken encounter against Ulster on Friday night. Seymour was cited by match commissioner Yves Thieffine for a dangerous 'tip' tackle on Northampton's Vasily Artemyev during a Pool Four fixture last Sunday.

He pleaded not guilty to foul play at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin, but Thomas upheld the citing complaint.


From Belfast Telegraph