10:41am, 11 May 2022
London Irish hooker Agustin Creevy has been banned for pulling the hair of Eben Etzebeth, the 2019 Springboks World Cup winner, during the Gallagher Premiership club’s Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat last Sunday at Toulon.
The one-game ban rules the veteran Argentine front-rower out of his club’s Premiership Cup final next Tuesday versus Worcester. Irish were beaten 19-18 in France and it was Tuesday when it emerged that Creevy had a case to answer, according to match citing commissioner Eugene Ryan (Ireland).
“Creevy is alleged to have pulled the hair of the RC Toulon second row, Eben Etzebeth, in the 35th minute of the match in contravention of law 9.27 – a player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship,” read the EPCR media release in advance of the hearing that took place on Wednesday.
A result has now been handed down and Creevy will sit it out next week at the Brentford Stadium when his club goes in search of silverware versus the Warriors. A statement following the hearing read: “The London Irish hooker, Agustin Creevy, has been suspended for one week following an independent disciplinary hearing arising from his club’s EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final match against RC Toulon at Stade Felix Mayol.
“An independent disciplinary committee comprising Simon Thomas (Wales, chair) and Marcello D’Orey (Portugal) heard submissions from Creevy, who accepted the charge, from the London Irish director of rugby, Declan Kidney, from the London Irish team manager, Alex James, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer, Liam McTiernan.
EPCR has received a citing complaint against Agustin Creevy who pulled Eben Etzebeth’s hair.
Sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 4 weeks; Top end: 6 to 52 weeks pic.twitter.com/lpI0y0xMkC
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) May 10, 2022
“The committee upheld the citing complaint, finding that Creevy had intentionally pulled Etzebeth’s hair in a manner that warranted a red card, and it then determined that the offence was at the low-end of World Rugby’s sanctions and two weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point. On the basis that the player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and had a good disciplinary record, it was decided to grant the full 50 per cent mitigation and the committee reduced the sanction by one week before imposing a one-week suspension. Creevy will miss the Premiership Cup final against Worcester Warriors next Tuesday and will be free to play next Wednesday, May 18.”
The 37-year-old Creevy has been in such impressive form this season for London Irish that he has been tipped to receive a Test squad recall from new Argentina coach Michael Cheika. The hooker hasn’t played for Los Pumas since the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
In the lead up to the match in Toulon, London Irish head coach Les Kiss said: “If I coached Argentina, I would put him in. To have that type of character, that personality, he is like a quiet force of nature. He just has an impact on the group in such a positive way. He is a precious component of our locker room and it would be a great reward for him. He has been fantastic for us.”
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