Grant Gilchrist suspended for rest of Six Nations

Scotland lock will miss the Ireland and Italy matches as a result of red card against France

Grant Gilchrist
Grant Gilchrist is sent off against France. Image: © Craig Watson www.craigwatson.co.uk

GRANT GILCHRIST will miss Scotland’s remaining two matches in the Six Nations, against Ireland on Sunday and then Italy the following Saturday, after being given a three-match ban for his sending-off against France. The third match has been listed as Edinburgh’s URC game against Connacht on 25 March, but Gilchrist will be released to play in that game as he has been given permission to take part in  World Rugby’s ‘coaching intervention programme’.

Gilchrist was sent off early on in the first half of the defeat in the Stade de France after his shoulder made contact with the head of the French ball-carrier. He admitted to an independent disciplinary hearing that his actions had warranted a red card.

Jonny Gray, who came on as an indirect replacement for the Edinburgh lock, is now expected to start in the second row against Ireland alongside his older brother Richie.


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A Six Nations press release to announce the verdict said that the three-person disciplinary committee had “deemed that having regard to the particular circumstances, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six week suspension.

“Having acknowledged that there were no aggravating factors and accepted mitigating factors including: the player’s early acknowledgement that the incident warranted a red card; the lack of intent and premeditation and clearly expressed remorse, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks, (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):

“12 March 2023 Scotland v Ireland Guinness Six Nations
“18 March 2023 Scotland v Italy Guinness Six Nations
“25 March 2023 Connacht v Edinburgh URC.”

“The player applied to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of his sanction for a Coaching Intervention, which was granted by the committee. The programme is aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play.”

No explanation was given for the length of time the committee took to arrive at or to announce their decision. It is understood that the hearing began last Tuesday.

When they announced their squad to play Leinster last week, Edinburgh listed Gilchrist as one of several players who were unavailable due to Scotland duty. It is unclear whether an earlier decision in the case would have included that match in his ban, which could have left him free to play against Italy.


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About Stuart Bathgate 1434 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

38 Comments

  1. The article on here about the Edinburgh team for Leinster said Gilchrist was unavailable as he was with the Scotland squad. I pointed out that was not the case when I looked at the Edinburgh announcement. Apparently it had been edited to delete the Gilchrist reference.
    So it seems to me that saying Gilchrist was with Scotland meant admitting he was not available for Edin to pick, thus the Leinster game not included in the ban.
    That’s my take and if correct then of course its nonsense but in future we need to be smarter and play the same games as the Irish do (Healey to be selected for an A team game at his peak – I don’t think so, but it counted!

      • Let’s face it we need to be more streetwise vs Ireland at all levels, as they cheat on every available occasion.

        Problem is, if we do that we’ll get pinged every time, whilst they just get a way with it, and there is a high likelihood that it will cost us the game on Sunday.

      • Let’s face it we need to be more streetwise vs Ireland at all levels, as they cheat on every available occasion.

        Problem is, if we do that we’ll get pinged every time, whilst they just get a way with it, and there is a high likelihood that it will cost us the game on Sunday.

  2. Unlucky for big Gilco, he has been in good form.
    However the last time we beat Ireland in 2017 we had the Brothers Gray starting in the 2nd row, perhaps a good omen. I am based in Ireland and yet again last night listened to Tom English on the ”Off The Ball” Irish sports talkshow having to defend our players, our fans and our rugby in general against what seemed like a barrage of mean spirited abuse and arrogant put downs against Scottish rugby. This theme in the Irish media and punditry is constant. I really hope our lads stuff Ireland this weekend and knock some of these entitled Irish rugby pundits off their perch, their disdain for Scottish rugby is both peculiar and uncalled for. Might I just add that the Irish fans are great and this is in no way a slight against them.

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    • I live in the Republic too. They have short memories that only start at 2003 when they got in any way good. Before that they were mince.

      Water off a ducks back mate.

      The Irish rugby media are a gaping wound…don’t waste your time.

      • One of the particularly insulting slights last night was that ”Hogg and Russell are always giving it all that, yet neither have done anything in the game”
        Wow! Hogg has won a Pro 12, English Prem title, European Cup, 2 x Six Nations player of the tournament, Scotland all time try scorer, most metres ever made in the Six Nations, 3 x British Lion. Yet has done nothing in the game….

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    • At least Horgan doesn’t seem to be one of the Irish TV pundits this year.

      I was highly amused to read an article in the Irish Times this morning where Huw Jones is called Hew DAVIES not once but 5 times!

  3. Mods need to have a word here….not seeing any white UK players having their names ‘mis spelt’. Reflects very badly indeed if that sort of stuff isn’t actioned. It’s not 1970s anymore.

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    • If I had a pound for every time I have seen Richie Gray’s names misspelt I’d be fairly wealthy.

      Funny how selective people with an agenda can be isn’t it?

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      • Show me an instance of a white player having their name mis spelt with a clear reference to ethnicity or heritage? One will do? Failing to act on this is frankly condoning bigotry and stains this site. If it isn’t actioned they can expect a reaction from sponsors. It was a clear act of bigotry.

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      • Ah the old “I know what is in other people’s mind” argument loved by those with an agenda and who want to read the worst possible meaning into everything in order to pursue it.

        Unfortunately these people seem incapable of seeing they are actually doing more harm than good to the cause they supposedly champion.

        Shame.

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    • I don’t give a damn about skin colour, i’ve called plenty of white people names when they act like idiots also, go scroll back through different articles and you will see that, i have had a few choice names for Farrell and some journalists in the past.

      And whats Hummus got to do with France? Besides that fact it sounds somewhat similar to the guy in questions second name. Do your research before acting politically correct. Stop trying to ruin comedy.

      The fact that punching and head-butting a players and then acting like he is innocent during the game is a joke, whats worse is the ban time is pretty much equivalent to Gilchrist’s first ever red for foul-play on a mistimed tackle.

      Who monitors the disciplinary process, it’s in need of a change.

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      • It’s nothing to with France but certainly to do with your ignorant perception of the players heritage. Don’t hide your bigotry bee honest about it instead of mewling about political correctness.

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  4. No problem with red card. But length of ban given Gillie’s past record is draconian and the delay in announcing it stinks. Typical of a flawed process that requires close scrutiny and amendments

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  5. My main thought on this is the fact that they both received red cars, one for a poor tackle and one for a head butt… it seems poor to have these two incidents as the same level 🤷‍♂️

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    • Think the judgment for Houras claimed it was accidental, he’d shown remorse and was same entry point as Gilchrist tackle.

      The first is clearly nonsense and any fool can show remorse after they’ve done something incredibly stupid and reckless. Feel no mitigation should have been given to Houras as he’d a previous for punching. 6 weeks would have been a much more appropriate suspension.

  6. This is a little bit smelly. England were able get Farrells ban down from 4 weeks to 2 with a little sleight of hand but we’re not afforded the same chance. Come on world rugby, we need a level playing field or the rfu will always just do what they want.

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  7. Grant Gilchrist has been banned for, in fact, four weeks. No reference has been made to his Edinburgh’s game against Leinster on 4 March – the international weekend following his red card. The written ban against him was been listed as Scotland against Ireland and Italy following Edinburgh against Connacht on 25 March in URC.

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  8. Shocking process – if they had announced this last week then the Leinster game could have counted as the first game. No doubt. Why would they wait a week to announce what seems a very simple assessment and ban. I think this is how it worked when Owen Farrell was able to play against Scotland after his ban ie he was able to count the 2 prior club games which he probably wouldn’t have played anyway but was in theory available.

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    • Should we not thank them that they allowed Farrell to play against us? He had a howler….

  9. No issue with the length of ban but the time taken is acceptable and there are reports that Ireland had a rep on the panel. Something similar happened the last time we had a player banned. Surely it can’t be difficult to have a entirely neutral panel. These decisions are inconsistent enough without have the appearance of other factors at play.

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    • I agree with you and I find the make up of the panel, or rather the Kangaroo Court because they never ever accept any argument against the Referees decision, frequently suspect.
      If the delay can be shown that it was a factor in him not being available for the Italy game then the SRU should get a bit of backbone and point out that this is not an acceptable way to run the process, Kangaroo or otherwise.

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  10. Really?….they took that long to disclose their conclusion from a hearing held last Tuesday when the French players outcome was disclosed almost immediately?
    It feels like the board take every opportunity to disrupt Scotlands preparation for big matches.

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    • Franco Smith was |suggesting at the weekend that Cummings not vyet ready for internationals.Obviously not his call but Gray x2 plus Skinner likely first choice for 23.No doubt Cummings will be traing withe squad though this week.

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      • Smith did indeed say that sir, however I thought Cummings had an excellent game and brings energy to the engine room.

    • I like Cummings.For the first time in ages I didn’t watch the Glasgow match on friday night (or see him in the previous fixture out in SA) so I can’t comment on his current form.Skinner was nothing special-in a terrible Edinburgh performance-so it may be a close call between the two of them for the 23 on Sunday (unless,of course,we opt for a 6.2 split again and list four locks.)

      • and he missed zero matches for punching Richie 2 years ago. And no increase this time for 2nd serious foul play offence – both were assaults rather than bad tackles

      • He can have a serious name when he stops trying to headbutt and punch our players.

        So effectively the same as Gilchrist considering he has missed the Leinster game. What a joke.

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      • Congratulations: your contribution will be entered into the ‘Fun is a Pun’ competition, no prizes just the admiration of fellow ‘Punsters’.

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