Friday, October 03, 2008
Northampton flanker Neil Best was recently handed an eighteen week ban after he was found guilty of eye-gouging James Haskell when the Northampton Saints played Wasps on the 20th of September.
Northampton have lodged an official appeal against the ban, to which a RFU panel will hear the appeal case on this coming Monday, ruling Best out until the final appeal verdict.
Upon being cited as making contact with Haskells eye area with his hand, Best will not be allowed to play again until the 28th of January.
That rules him out of Irelands three November internationals and seventeen Saints games throughout the Guinness Premiership, EDF Energy Cup, and the European Challenge Cup.
Haskell, who was taken to hospital following the match, was found to have swelling and abrasions around his eyes while reportedly also complained that his vision had been affected.
RFU disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett, Best said he had acted "recklessly but not deliberately".
Best apologised on to Haskell on the field and it was accepted that he did not intend to cause serious injury, but nevertheless the offence was judged to be towards the top end of the scale of seriousness.
Weve found a short clip from The Rugby Club that features the incident. Decide for yourself if you think the severity of the ruling is just, or completely spot on.
Best punches Visagie, Croft punches Best