Scotland confident Richie Gray will be cleared in disciplinary hearing

The second-row has been charged with dangerous play in a ruck or maul during the game against the All Blacks

Richie Gray
Richie Gray looks on as Finn Russell prepares to kick during Sunday's game against the All Blacks. Image: © Craig Watson www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND assistant coach Pieter de Villiers has revealed that a result from Richie Gray’s disciplinary hearing is expected around lunchtime tomorrow (Wednesday) – and that the management team are confident of a positive outcome.

The Glasgow lock was cited yesterday for dangerous play in a ruck or maul during Sunday’s match against the All Blacks, and if the disciplinary panel decide against him he could miss Scotland’s last match in this year’s Autumn Nations Series, against Argentina at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

However, insisting that there was no malice in Gray’s action, scrum coach De Villiers gave every indication that he believed the forward would be able to take the field against the Pumas.


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“We will have a result on Wednesday, probably around lunchtime,” De Villiers said. “Richie has always been an example of discipline, on and off the field.

“There’s absolutely no malicious intent in his gesture, so we’ve got confidence the process will go well. Obviously it’s not in our hands. But Richie has always been a brilliant example in terms of discipline.

“Richie’s experience and leadership have been massive. He’s brought a lot to the table for us. It’s great to see him in this kind of form.”

 The citation was announced  in an Autumn Nations Series press release, which read:

“Scotland lock Richie Gray will attend an independent disciplinary hearing after he was cited for an act of foul play contrary to Law No 9.20(a) (Dangerous play in a ruck or maul.  A player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without binding onto another player in the ruck or maul) in Scotland’s international match against New Zealand on 12 November 2022.

“The player will attend a hearing via video conference before an independent Judicial Committee chaired by Shao-ing Wang (Singapore). The two other Judicial Committee members will be confirmed in due course.”

De Villiers also confirmed that Finn Russell, whose partner is due to give birth shortly, remains with the group. “He’s still with the squad. There’s still no news with regards to the baby. We’re planning with him.”


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About Stuart Bathgate 1212 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.

23 Comments

  1. These citings are loathsome. Week after week you see acts of clear foul play go unpunished and then boom! some inconspicuous incident that virtually no one noticed and had zero impact on the game and that’s what they choose to act on.

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  2. I’ll try again:
    The ‘Citing’ of Richie Gray is exemplifying why I loath what World Rugby and their mind numbing tinkering with the Laws of the game over the years has brought us to.
    We have a situation where Gray is told that he committed an offence, how else could it be with a Judicial review organised for lunchtime today. The questions that I want answered are has the accused been given more information than the rest of us? When was the alleged offence committed, was it a Ruck or a Maul, why such limited information?
    Is it going to be the case that Gray and his supporter only find out when someone runs a snippet of the alleged incident at the hearing? It’s like getting a speeding ticket suggesting that at some point on the M6 you were over the speed limit, but at the moment we can’t find it on the tape! Ludicrous.
    To quote the brief for Citing:
    “The narrative is an essential part of the citing process and it will need to describe in detail the alleged act(s) of illegal and/or foul play and why, in the Citing Commissioner’s (CC) assessment, it has met the Red Card threshold”.
    If the Match day officials and TMO or the all seeing for a bit of drama Broadcasting authorities didn’t see an action that justified a Red Card it requires more than the handout submitted.
    I can only imagine the confidence of nothing to answer is in the fact that the initial citing doesn’t comply with the requirements I quoted.
    No doubt there will be the usual farcical panel of unrepresentative individuals, some ‘has beens’ others that didn’t even reach that status, ¾’s from the amateur days assessing incidents like Fagerson’s: I’ve branded them Kangaroo Courts, at times I don’t think they even reach that status.
    We await the result with baited breath and not much hope of common sense, let alone any signs of natural justice.

  3. De Villiers says there was no malicious intent, which is fine but irrelevant in terms of the citing. It would be relevant when considering a sanction if found guilty.
    I can’t remember or find any incident that is clearly dangerous, so guess the citing officer was looking very carefully having failed to find a reason to chalk off the pen try (smilie thingy)

  4. A perfectly reasonable comment on the Citing, the main topic of the article and an hour later no sign of it, very strange, nothing abusive unless a rant at World Rugby procedures counts.

  5. The ‘Citing’ of Richie Gray is exemplifying why I loath what World Rugby and their mind numbing tinkering with the Laws of the game over the years has brought us to.
    We have a situation where Gray is told that he committed an offence, how else could it be with a Judicial review organised for lunchtime today. The questions that I want answered are has the accused been given more information than the rest of us? When was the alleged offence committed, was it a Ruck or a Maul, why such limited information?
    Is it going to be the case that Gray and his supporter only find out when someone runs a snippet of the alleged incident at the hearing? It’s like getting a speeding ticket suggesting that at some point on the M6 you were over the speed limit, but at the moment we can’t find it on the tape! Ludicrous.
    To quote the brief for Citing:
    “The narrative is an essential part of the citing process and it will need to describe in detail the alleged act(s) of illegal and/or foul play and why, in the Citing Commissioner’s (CC) assessment, it has met the Red Card threshold”.
    If the Match day officials and TMO or the all seeing for a bit of drama Broadcasting authorities didn’t see an action that justified a Red Card it requires more than the handout submitted.
    I can only imagine the confidence of nothing to answer is in the fact that the initial citing doesn’t comply with the requirements I quoted.
    No doubt there will be the usual farcical panel of unrepresentative individuals, some ‘has beens’ others that didn’t even reach that status, ¾’s from the amateur days assessing incidents like Fagerson’s: I’ve branded them Kangaroo Courts, at times I don’t think they even reach that status.
    We await the result with baited breath and not much hope of common sense, let alone any signs of natural justice.

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      • Well if that is good enough for you, you are easily pleased, however as far as I am concerned it doesn’t comply with ‘describe in detail’ if you witness an offence you have the ability to put a time frame to it.

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      • George its standard citing language. SRU? Gray will have details of the incident in question

        We should see the details later, but where I will absolutely agree that more transparency is needed.
        English Prem published full details, virtually a transcript of every disc hearing, too many other organisations simply issue a press release, (and that simply isn’t good enough IMHO), sometimes not even that

      • Well we agree on something, perhaps your subsequent comment would have been more helpful if that had been your response at 11.36.

  6. If the SRU need a hint as to where things are at just look at the thousands of empty seats for Saturday’s game. GT is not only producing really poor results on the pitch but delivering very poor financial results. Please Santa can we have a new coach….

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      • Yes, Ed, i think some silly gooses don’t realise people go for bathroom breaks/food throughout the game.

        Although i agree GT is not producing the results this year, such a shame after the upward trend from 2020 to 2021 up to the lions.

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    • I think you’ll find Rod is talking about the thousands of unsold tickets for the Argentina game. The clue is in his use of the word “Saturday”.

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      • Ah, I see. It was a prediction, a guess.
        Bottom line is All Black’s are box office, Argentina aren’t- although they should be
        Was the England v Japan a sell out, or Ireland v Fiji? Genuine question Any predictions for the Wales v Georgia crowd?
        As S+9 says 4 games in a month is expensive. These are tough times for some

      • Hardly a guess when the SRU marketing machine has been in overdrive for weeks punting the spare seats.

        And, yes, England v Japan and Ireland v Fiji were sellouts. I doubt Wales v Georgia will sell out but, although Wales are hardly setting the world alight at the moment, it will probably be closer to capacity than our game against Tier 2 opponents was.

        I think the point is that Scotland should be box office whoever they are playing and I agree that Argentina should be seen as a huge attraction in their own right.

        To be fair to Townsend, he did preside over a huge number of successive Murrayfield sellouts (up to Tonga last year I think) and 4 tests in a month is undoubtedly a stretch but 9,000 short of capacity against Fiji and whatever the shortfall turns out to be against Argentina can’t just be brushed aside as nothing to do with the way the team has been performing.

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    • “Saturday’s game” refers to the match against Argentina – there are many seats still available for this match.

      Sure, the empty seats and lost revenue can be due to the cost of living crisis. But I agree with Rod that the weird selections of the coach have not helped to generate enthusiasm. The BTL comments here and elsewhere show how frustrated the supporters are. This doesn’t persuade folk to part with serious cash to attend a game.

      There was also an interesting comment on the SRB about how afterwards the ABs were interacting with younger fans doing autographs etc while the Scottish players were not. This can be easily fixed and should be built into what is expected of the players. The person who experienced this (with their 9 year old) said they were writing to the SRU to make their point.

      • Fair enough Ian but I went to the Fiji game with my ten year old son and we went down to the pitch side at the end and he got tonnes of photos with players. Not disagreeing with what you saw – just saying it’s not always the case

      • My experience of the Scottish squad interacting with young fans has been brilliant. Can’t comment on post match on Sunday, but at the kit launch even prior to RWC the squad hung around for ages after the training session signing items for kids and chatting to them.
        We’d missed John Barclay and shouted him over in the car park and he came over for a chat and autograph.

        There are fairly regular open training sessions etc where the boys are very accessible.

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