Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dupuy to miss Six Nations rugby with 24-week gouging ban

DUBLIN - France scrumhalf Julien Dupuy will miss the whole Six Nations rugby tournament after being banned for 24 weeks Friday for gouging an opponent's eyes.

"The judicial officer found that it was at the top end in the level of seriousness for an offense of this type,'' ERC said in a statement. "Having taken into account any mitigating and aggravating factors, the independent judicial officer suspended the player for a period of 24 weeks running up to and including June 3, 2010.''

ERC could have banned Dupuy for as long as three years for an offense deemed the worst in an infamously physical contact sport.

France competes annually in the Six Nations rugby, which is played against five other European nations: England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. France first contested the tournament in 1910 when the Home Nations became the Five Nations. France were expelled from the tournament due to rumors of professionalism in the then-amateur sport in 1932, but rejoined in 1947. They first won the competition in 1954, sharing the championship with both England and Wales.

The minimum ban for gouging is 12 weeks, so Dupuy was always going to miss France's Six Nations opener if found guilty.

France is at Scotland and then plays Ireland, Wales and Italy before hosting England in its final match on March 20.

The match Scotland V France will take place at Murrayfield Edinburgh on Sun, Feb 07, 2010

at 15:00, in keeping with the initiative launched by the Scottish Rugby Union last season, admission will be free for all.

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