Best appeal lodged

Best appeal lodged

Northampton have appealed against the 18-week ban imposed on flanker Neil Best for eye-gouging.

Best pleaded guilty to the initial charge of "making contact with the eye or eye area" of Wasps flanker James Haskell on the grounds that the action was reckless but not deliberate.

The Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel accepted the offence was not pre-meditated but concluded Best "pulled Haskell's head upwards by the eye socket" once he realised contact had been made.

Northampton sought legal advice after the RFU confirmed Best had been suspended for 18 weeks.

The appeal will be heard on Monday, October 6 by an RFU panel comprised of chairman Ian Mill QC (Blackstone Chambers), John Doubleday and Robert Horner.

Best cannot be selected by Northampton until the final determination of the appeal.


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