Edinburgh prop WP Nel to miss Bath match due to three-week suspension

He can be back in two weeks if he competes a World Rugby training course

WP Nel will miss Edinburgh's European Challenge Cup match against Bath on Saturday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
WP Nel will miss Edinburgh's European Challenge Cup match against Bath on Saturday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

WP NEL has been handed a three-week suspension after an independent disciplinary committee found him guilty of striking the head of opposite number Téo Bordenave with his shoulder in the 42nd minute of last Friday’s European Challenge Cup pool match between Edinburgh and Pau, in contravention of Law 9.12.

That sanction will be reduced to two weeks if he completes a ‘World Rugby Coaching Intervention’, which would allow him to return to action on 25th April.

The disciplinary committee comprising Simon Thomas (Wales), chair, Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Martyn Wood (England), heard submissions from Nel, who accepted the charge, from the player’s legal representative Bruce Caldow, from the Edinburgh Rugby Team Manager Matt Cornwell, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer Liam McTiernan, before upholding the citing complaint.


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The offence was deemed to be at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six 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 clear disciplinary record, it was decided to grant the full 50 percent mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks, meaning that he is out until the 2nd of May if he does not complete the “World Rugby Coaching Intervention’.

Nel will now definitely miss Saturday’s European Challenge Cup round of 16 clash against Bath at the DAM Health Stadium, and the following weekend’s home game against Zebre in the United Rugby Championship. With Luan de Bruin doubtful following a knee injury against Pau, Lee-Roy Atalifo is now likely to wear the No 3 jersey against Bath, while Angus Williams is the next cab off the rank after that.


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About David Barnes 3112 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

6 Comments

      • Well it is all very cosy in Dublin with Premier Tv. Setanta, World Rugby HQ and IRFU and the Marketing Company all within 15 minutes of each other or the Bar of the Shelbourne Hotel.

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  1. Nel cops a 3 week ban but Gibson-Park is let off. Have a look at both incidents, I know which one I think was worst.

    GP yellow carded at the time, are the panel backing the ref who in my view got the mitigations incorrect and is Nel being punished because it wasn’t dealt with during the game and no officials to gainsay?

    As fans we just want consistency in the processes. Both during the game and at any disciplinary hearing.

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    • What nonsense, just looked at the GP one and there is no doubt it is the worse offence. Looking at the Nel one, you could suggest that he was unaware the supporting player was coming in, certainly mitigation as per the view of the match officials …!!

      Except of course, GP plays for Leinster.

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