WELLINGTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - A permanent three-man committee will review all incidents of foul play in Super Rugby this year in an effort to bring more consistency to the disciplinary process, southern hemisphere rugby bosses said on Thursday.
The three-man panel, headed by New Zealand’s Nigel Hampton, will review all disciplinary procedures recommended by match citing commissioners and make an initial determination as to whether a player is to be sanctioned.
Players will then have the opportunity to accept the recommendation or continue to a formal disciplinary hearing.
Under the previous process, players faced a disciplinary hearing after being cited by the match commissioner.
“The new process is the result of the identification of certain challenges within the application of an effective and consistent judicial process,” SANZAAR Chief Executive Andy Marinos said in a statement.
“SANZAAR believes Super Rugby has unique challenges across six territories and 15 time zones and the enhanced Super Rugby judicial process will deliver a more streamlined and effective system for teams and a more consistent outcome.”
Australia’s John Langford and Stefan Terblanche from South Africa are also on the committee.
The Super Rugby season begins on Feb. 23 when the Melbourne Rebels host the Auckland Blues.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Napier; Editing by Peter Rutherford