02/01/2020 – RFU – Disciplinary hearing Harry Williams

Harry Williams of Exeter Chiefs appeared before an independent disciplinary panel today.

He was shown a red card by referee Wayne Barnes in the 77th minute of the match between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens on Sunday 29 December 2019. This was for acts contrary to good sportsmanship, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.27.

Williams accepted the charge and was given a two week suspension by Richard Whittam QC chairing as sole independent judicial officer. Williams is free to play again on Tuesday 14 January 2020.

Independent judicial officer Richard Whittam QC said: “Harry Williams was substituted during the match having failed an HIA. In the 76th minute he left the technical area, which is set back from the pitch, came forward, rounded the hoardings that surround the pitch and advanced over 10 metres deliberately to enter a melee that already had started.

"The referee, who handled the situation in an exemplary manner, assessed his actions as exacerbating the situation. Clearly it was behaviour against the spirit of good sportsmanship, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.27.

"Richard Whittam QC assessed the action as attracting a low-end entry point for ‘other’ behaviour in the sanction table in Annex 2 to Regulation 19. He did not strike another player and no one was injured as a result of his actions. He apologised to the referee immediately after the match and accepted the charge in advance of the hearing.

"In those circumstances the 4 week sanction was reduced to one of 2 weeks.”