RWC23: Zander Fagerson’s disciplinary hearing date is confirmed

A lengthy suspension could rule Scotland prop out of the World Cup

A lengthy suspension for Zander Fagerson would be a major set-back for Scotland. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
A lengthy suspension for Zander Fagerson would be a major set-back for Scotland. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND prop Zander Fagerson will attend an independent disciplinary hearing tomorrow [Tuesday] after receiving a red-card during Saturday’s win over France at Murrayfield.

The sending-off was for an act of foul play contrary to Law 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.”)

The hearing will be conducted via video conference before an independent Judicial Committee consisting of Mike Hamlin (England) as Chair, joined by former international Jamie Corsi (Wales) and former international referee Juan Pablo Spirandelli (Argentina).

Click HERE to watch the video that explains how rugby’s disciplinary process works.


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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.

27 Comments

  1. Do you think we could draft in Tom or Luke Stoltman for the South African game, 6’8″ 185kg former worlds strongest man? Would give them something to think about! 4 weeks to train him up in the dark arts!

  2. Luckily all three panellists are from nations in the other half – the soft half – of the World Cup draw and therefore are unlikely to have a conflict of interest. But we all know what’s coming – it’s inevitable I’m afraid.

  3. Wullie McNel to the rescue. 37 and after Finn and Ritchie Gray the most important player in the team.

  4. I’m no longer convinced that Fagerson is such a fantastic prop. When he burst onto the scene the rumour going round was that ha was a ‘beast’ of a young lad who could only get better and would fill the berth for years to come.
    I’ve not seen him really dominate his opposite number in the scrum at anytime. It’s always a lottery with the Scotland scrum and many scrum penalties won are often reversed at the next scrum so it’s impossible to decide if and when we’ve ever had the upper hand. He was also supposed to be dynamic in the loose , but again I can’t remember too many breaks of the line in the mould of George Turner or Jonny Mathews.
    What he does have is an engine and can keep going but what’s the point in that if he is always getting swapped on 60 minutes anyway. So we are left with the aggression , which he seems unable to contain. Hardly a bonus.
    Nel is a better prop at scrum time. Just not as dynamic in the loose but as he is not prone to giving penalties away perhaps he should be first choice anyway.
    Just a pity the Kebble experiment at TH hasn’t worked.

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    • Tend to agree unfortunately. He’s a strong fit lad that broke through with lots of potential and we are now somehow at the default position of him being world class but it’s not clear when the potential was actually realised. World class would mean he could walk into any team in the world eg Finn or Darcy. In reality as Gaffer says who has he ever dominated in club or international rugby. It’s more often the case that he loses us territory and possession by conceding scrum pens. I would expect with a ‘World Class’ TH that we could approach scrums with confidence but honestly I feel trepidation every one.No rugby fans from other nations would call him world class. He certainly wouldn’t get a sniff of the Irish or French squads and I doubt if English would swap him for Sinckler. Honestly think he was fairly lucky to make Lions and made no real impact even tho the regional sides were shorn if international players. There isn’t enough dynamic work in the loose to mitigate the scrum issues. The discipline speaks for itself. It’s hugely frustrating because the physique is clearly there. I think the issue stems back from him being converted from No 8. He still gets feet in the wrong place. Plenty of scrum coaches have worked with him but it’s still not where he could be. FWIW I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call Nel world class too but he is certainly reliable and paints a better picture at scrums. I guess the one positive is that the SRU have been going around the country with roadshows to promote playing in front row and apparently the sessions have been really good. Hopefully this will bear fruit in the future but in meantime we need to stop chucking kids out of development system who can scrummage but don’t hit the gym numbers. Not everyone in the packs needs to be a converted flanker. Sure it was last RWC where the marketing folk were celebrating vertical jump stats for the props….it’s not that long ago someone like Jon Welsh was emptied far too early. We would kill for him now.

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  5. Scottish fans seem incredibly eager to write off, banish or condemn our best players. I don’t know why but we’ve been down this road with so many players before.

    It was a mistake and it might have significant repercussions, but it was clumsy rather than particularly reckless or dangerous – that’s sport. Zander is an exceptional player, who bleeds for his country and those suggesting we should sideline him are being hysterical.

    I expect he’ll get a four game ban but if so we need him back for the Ireland game.

    The disciplinary system is a joke – Grant Williams was knocked out cold by a reckless charge down and has still not recovered from his brain injury almost two weeks later. His assailant was suspended for two games. The guy Zander had head contact with didn’t require an HIA, so hopefully that’ll be taken into account – it was potentially dangerous but actually low speed and force.

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    • i don’t think most are trying to write off ZF we are just frustrated and looking realistically at what we will have to cover depending on the length of ban. We cant change things and we will have to cope with it and use the back up TH’s which leaves me a tad worried particularly for the SA game where you cant see Zander playing. But if he gets a 4 or 5 game ban then we will still want to have him for the Ireland game.

    • ‘Mistakes’ happen, but his infringements occur too frequently at club and international level and he will never learn so long as folk continue to make excuses for him. Quite simply he can’t go on like this for the rest of his career, nor can we afford to go through important matches a man down. Zander is not however being written off, banished or condemned by anyone, instead he is quite rightly being criticised for his indiscipline by exasperated supporters who know only too well the likely consequences of his actions. I fear that not having him will cost us dear come the Springbok game, especially given the lack of credible replacements. I wouldn’t automatically assume he will be available for the Ireland match either.

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      • Indeed elite sport is about always learning and realising actions have consequences. ZF like too many players in our system thinks consequences are for other people. This isn’t a one off it’s a constant pattern of behaviour. He’s been indulged for so long due to a perceived lack of options but as Gaffer says when has ZF actually dominated anyone in the scrum? If he really was world class like Finn or Darcy then he could be capable of walking into any other side. He wouldn’t be near Ireland or France and probably doesn’t get in over Sinckler. Moving forward we need to stop trying to convert flankers and stick with the lads who can scrummage. Last RWC social media was awash with celebrating the vertical jump stats for props!! Talk about irrelevant. On the more positive side the SRU has been conducting front row workshops a Ross the country and by all accounts the sessions have been very good. We need to address the problem head on not hide behind guff that we aren’t a nation of props. There’s no genetic differences between us and Ireland and they manage to develop players in all positions. Benefits of an inclusive system which doesn’t write off 15 yr olds !

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      • Indeed elite sport is about always learning and realising actions have consequences. ZF like too many players in our system thinks consequences are for other people. This isn’t a one off it’s a constant pattern of behaviour. He’s been indulged for so long due to a perceived lack of options but as Gaffer says when has ZF actually dominated anyone in the scrum? If he really was world class like Finn or Darcy then he could be capable of walking into any other side. He wouldn’t be near Ireland or France and probably doesn’t get in over Sinckler. Moving forward we need to stop trying to convert flankers and stick with the lads who can scrummage. Last RWC social media was awash with celebrating the vertical jump stats for props!! Talk about irrelevant. On the more positive side the SRU has been conducting front row workshops a Ross the country and by all accounts the sessions have been very good. We need to address the problem head on not hide behind guff that we aren’t a nation of props. There’s no genetic differences between us and Ireland and they manage to develop players in all positions. Benefits of an inclusive system which doesn’t write off 15 yr olds !

  6. Having watched the incident for the first time….I have little doubt Fagerson is going to be banned. He also does not have a good disciplinary record.
    Stupid and reckless by him.
    We’ll face arguably the best front row and and back up front row combo in world rugby with an aging prop and an inexperienced prop. We need to fast track Walker …he has the composure that Zander clearly has never had.

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    • Went last year without a yellow or red and still managed to tackle almost 2 to 1 more times last year than any other prop for Scotland on the field.

  7. There’s a simple solution to al this-Iain your country needs you!
    Boots back on please.

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  8. Zander Fagerson has worked hard to develop his game, with a couple of these areas being in pressuring the opposition & being confrontational/ aggressive. Driving into rucks & mauls with force is part of this, but unfortunately if anyone goes charging in with their head down & not looking at what they’re contacting, then it’s a lottery as to what they will hit. This incident is more down to poor technique, lack of flexibility, & fatigue, all of which are addressable (although it can be argued he should have addressed this after his previous sending off against Wales), so I suggest it’s better this issue is (re-)highlighted & addressed during the warm-up games than during an actual RWC game, which would have far greater consequences for Scotland. As the tighthead position is so critical to scrummaging, & as games can be lost by having a retreating or collapsing scrum, we need to have world class players in this position, with the only two we presently have being Zander & WP Nel. So hopefully the disciplinary hearing decision will be favourable & allows Zander to play against SA.

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    • But they (quite rightly) aren’t going to be remotely interested that Scotland happen to need a “world class” prop available for the SA game and reduce the ban accordingly.
      As we all know from past tribunals (Grant Gilchrist anyone?) we have a bad record in sentencing (compared to certain Irish players!)

  9. Why, oh why, oh why did he do it – knowing full well that RWC was around the corner and waiting for him? It demonstrates the dearth of talent we have at tight head that the actions of one daft laddie can land us in a national crisis. Edinburgh had ten props on its books last season, not one of them born in Scotland. What is wrong with us, for we are the land of Scotch porridge oats after all!

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    • Haha, I think if you look at history it will tell you we are not a country of props but scrum halves and back rows 😊

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      • Tom Smith, David Sole, Sandy Carmichael, Ian McLaughlan, Dave Rollo, all spring immediately and easily to mind so we do have a history of playing good props, just at the moment we seem to have a dearth for the tight head. That said Wales seemed to have the same issue but this weekend they blooded two young guys from the Rhondda (playing at Cardiff Rugby), and they did well enough. Maybe that’s the lesson – an episode like this will also create an opportunity to be grabbed if you are young, strong and hungry enough.

  10. This highlights perfectly how much we are struggling in depth at TH. International teams have to have back ups that are as good as the number 1 starter, to account for injuries, red cards (in this day and age) and fitness. there isn’t one tier one International team who solely rely on one player in the TH position as we do.

    • Really, England and Wales. Zander miles better than their starting props and our back just as good. What we don’t have is back up in the same class as Zander but that would be unheard of in Scotland

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      • Oh i dont know, im sure their starting props could give away 4/5 penalties every game too if they tried hard enough.. i must say i have to disagree. although i cant label myself an expert in that area, the ownness has to be on us for not developing a replacement / competitor for the TH position. super 6, 2 pro teams, players with Scottish grannies whatever it may be. being happy with a tight head thats one of the best in the world isnt good enough. MW and SJ are young fellas and very inexperienced at international level, and South African front rows would be licking their lips at the prospect of butting heads (no offence ZF) with them. the alternative is a 37 year old that has 60 mins in him. As a player and now as a fan the “unheard of in Scotland” used to bug me loads, well start speaking and make it heard of, otherwise how are we going to develop? how are we going to compete? you cant magic 20,000 player overnight and until something is done, nothing will be done and its back to square 1.

        Does that meltdown make me a keyboard warrior? i sure hope not – its a monday and im grumpy !

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    • Really, England, Wales maybe Australia
      Zander is one of the top TH props in the world, it would be unlikely for Scotland to have someone similar as back up.

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    • I think of you look closely at Zander’s record he has improved a lot over the last 18 months. Don’t get me wrong I’m as disappointed and frustrated as anyone regarding what happened.
      The point I was trying to make is that other top countries far larger and with a far larger rugby playing population struggle. England the land of props have Cole and Marler back and the others are not in the class of our starting props.

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      • i take your point Iain. What can rugby do to make young players pick up the 3 jersey rather than the 10 or 15? watching finn russell throw offloads and darcy graham slice defences up is appealing to the youngster but watching a prop set then rest a scrum less so. Is what we are seeing here the tip of the ice berg ?

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  11. Going to need good biscuits at the hearing, Zander to have set up a charity and a written statement from Pierre Bougarit saying it was actually his face that brutally assaulted Zander’s shoulder. Plus have him in as an emergency joker for Ayrshire Bulls so a couple of S6 games can eat into the ban.

    He’s still clearly got a lesson to learn after Wales at Murrayfield 2 years ago but now is not the time for him to learn it. Anyone who thinks he isn’t going to be essential to our World Cup has their vision clouded by vitriol. Maybe he’s lost the starting jersey, but South Africa’s bench front row would start for most teams and we need both him and Nel in the squad to have a hope of not being concertina-d all over the Stade Vélodrome.

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