Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Calum Clark cited for bending Rob Hawkins' arm backwards

Northampton Saints forward Calum Clark has been cited following an incident in the LV Cup Final (Anglo-Welsh) at Sixways on the weekend. Leicester Tigers hooker Rob Hawkins left the field with a broken arm after the incident.

It happened so quickly that the commentators failed to spot it and there weren't any replays shown at the time. After seeing the injury though, Tigers boss Richard Cockerill was furious at Clark, who appeared to bend Hawkins arm in a direction opposite to his body, hyperextending the elbow in a move that looked more like an MMA 'armbar' than anything that should be seen on the rugby field. 

"If Calum Clark is deemed to have done it on purpose it's pretty horrendous," Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester. "Something's gone on there but we'll let them [the citing commissioners] look at it and sort it out. It's a petty poor act.

"I think it's really out of order and in my opinion it's as bad an injury as I've seen on a rugby field,"  he added, saying that Hawkins' elbow has infact been fractured.

After the game Cockerill could be seen speaking quite firmly to Clark, with rumours suggesting that he told him he will be receiving a 12 month suspension for what he did.

It's been confirmed that Clark has now been cited, the outcome of which should be a seriously hefty ban, unless he can come up with some reasoning for his actions. As for Hawkins, his season is over.

"He will miss the rest of the season and I am really disappointed for him. He has had a good run and was really keen to impress because he is trying to earn a new contract. Now that opportunity has been taken away from him," said Cockerill.

You can view official highlights of the match here

What is your take on the incident, and how long do you think the suspension should be?

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:14 pm | View Comments (135)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 135 comments

rugbygeorge March 21, 2012 6:51 pm

Dirty. Disgrace.

Why would you want to put another professionals career at risk.

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Filipe March 21, 2012 6:51 pm

This guy should be banned for a long, long time, it was disgusting.

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WillTenby March 21, 2012 6:53 pm

He should be charged with assault. That is a classic MMA armbar move that has no place on the rugby field. It shows complete disrespect and contempt for the opposition. I hope he is banned for life.

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Rugby Mad Welshman March 26, 2012 10:18 pm

I agree with WillTenby- he should be banned for life. I feel that he has some serious discipline issues and for somebody to carry out wanton and reckless damage to a fellow player is disgusting. Ban him before somebody else gets seriously hurt. The footage makes me cringe!

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guest March 21, 2012 6:55 pm

12 weeks. viscious and cowardly. doesnt look as bad as a spear tackle but could do much more damage. especially for a hooker. if he breaks his arm then he mightened ever get his throwing right again.

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bnations March 21, 2012 6:57 pm

If there is any justice, his ban won't begin until Hawkins returns for his first game. As it is, he'll probably be back on the field before his victim is even healed. Disgraceful.

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bnations March 21, 2012 6:57 pm

That came out wrong. He should be banned until Hawkins heals and then some.

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redwan_ March 21, 2012 8:01 pm

totally agree. Should have to be out the game for at least the length of time that the injury he caused leads to.

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Michael March 21, 2012 7:00 pm

A 6 month ban would be the lightest suspension possible, it looks like the guy doesn't even care about the game, he just wants to hurt people...this type of attitude doesn't belong on the rugby pitch.

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Colombes March 21, 2012 7:03 pm

waw it must really hurts!
after rewatching the video, it looks quite intentional and vicious
don't know the ban for this type of "bending" but the question of bans equal to the injury length can be a solution.

it recalls me another type of vicious behaviour when tacklers deliberatly twist the ankle of their opponent after a tackle

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ber March 21, 2012 7:10 pm

What a shame!!!!

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nathan March 21, 2012 7:20 pm

This lad doesn't have the right mentality for playing rugby, he seems to lose it to0 easily (like the head butts in front of the ref at the U20 World Championships). Give him a year's ban, at least he might realise how much he misses playing and get his act together.

Feel so sorry for Hawkins, just starting to string some good performances together in the hope for a contract renewal and this happens.

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Yster7 March 21, 2012 7:21 pm

This idiot - clark, shouldn't be allowed today this beautiful game! I remember this jerk flying into a loose mall during junior world cup, headbutting one of the Baby Blacks. He's a disgrace and I hope he gets his soon!!

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Winter March 21, 2012 7:21 pm

that was bang out of order, I'm all for giving a few digs in a game but nothing that would put another players career at risk. Owning up to it would be a start, but a long ban shuld be given.

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Rob March 21, 2012 7:23 pm

absolute disgrace, and saints even refuse to comment, out and out thug.

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John March 21, 2012 7:26 pm

Never mind a rugby ban, he should be in court for GBH!! I mean, that has no place in the game of rugby, and serves literally no purpose other than to seriously injure an opponent. What a disgrace! That is pretty much the worst thing I have seen on a rugby pitch, along with eye gouging; neither are actual fights which might sometimes occur in which one person might intentionally hurt another - maiming a person who can't defend themselves at the bottom of a ruck is just disgusting and cowardly

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BuzzKillington March 21, 2012 7:27 pm

It was only a matter of time before Rugby teams started employing wrestling coaches and tactics, as has been the case in League for years now.

This needs to be stamped out immediately, because unlike in League where you can't hide, in Rugby players will be able to use these tactics in chaotic rucks without being found out.

Would we know about Clarks actions if not for the fact he was successful in breaking Hawkins' arm? A hard line approach is needed before this is common place like in League with the "chicken wing", "crusher", "chin strap", "grapple tackle", "prowler" or the "rolling pin".

It's about time these MMA tactics get some spotlight. I would say at least a year for Clark.

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Sankeor March 22, 2012 5:01 am

I would say evil-minded players certainly didn't wait for sbdy to teach them techniques.
An arm-lock is pretty simple to realize, even if nobody taught you.
The most important to me is to create laws firmly establishing heavy sanctions for arm locks and those kind of moves, and make sure everybody knows about the sanction.

Actually imo wrestling techniques are useful for the lightest players to clean rucks, as long as it doesn't involve dangerous techniques.
I have practiced judo for 12 years, and as I'm quite light myself I often use that knowledge to clean players nearly twice heavier off the rucks. No shit. But I don't see the point of breaking ppl's arms. That's just evil.

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Coal_Face March 21, 2012 7:30 pm

If this had been caught on CCTV, in a town centre, then Clark would be arrested and charged with GBH. What a cowardly act, and what an appalling example to set our youngsters! Considering the guy should have a criminal record, then he can count himself lucky, if he only gets a 12 month ban!

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Bob March 21, 2012 7:36 pm

Seriously, what is the matter with this guy? And why haven't Northampton condemned his actions, surely they must have seen the footage by now?

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Reality March 21, 2012 7:38 pm

Why did Cockerill shake his hand at the end? He should have spat on the piece of sh**.

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LND March 21, 2012 9:07 pm

Because Cockerill has some guts and character and he wanted to tell that lowlife to his face that he's going down. Doesn't matter how long the ban is, Clark will never play against the Tigers again without getting the shit beat out of him by fair means or foul.

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Will March 21, 2012 10:15 pm

As a saints supported I completely agree that this is disgraceful as he deserves a very long ban but how is another player beating the shit out of him any better, if you think that its aceptable then you should be ashamed of yourself!

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LND March 22, 2012 6:43 pm

Good lad, do you take all comments literally?
If / when he plays the Tigers again he will be hit so hard he will wish he wasn't on the pitch, I quite obviously did not mean that he will be beaten physically with a bat or a club, that would be just stupid! As a Saints fan I think the shame is very much on your sorry shoulders.

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Reality March 22, 2012 9:39 pm

Actually I'd be happy if a bat or club was used. I don't buy all that 'retaliation is as bad as instigation' stuff. If he did something as callous and sickening as this, I wouldn't mind if he got a severe beating in retribution.

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Bunn March 21, 2012 11:11 pm

Apparently Cockerill was saying to him that he'll never play for England

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flyingpepper March 23, 2012 2:16 am

very good.. maybe a bit too clever

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RUGBYMAN March 21, 2012 7:39 pm


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lowis March 21, 2012 7:44 pm

after the whistle too....

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Rikkah March 21, 2012 7:46 pm

I'd say a 12 month ban isn't enough, ban this man for life!

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Karim March 21, 2012 7:49 pm

Absolute disgrace. Disgusting, 12 month ban minimum.

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Michael March 21, 2012 8:07 pm

Hes a filthy player Clark, anyone who followed age grade rugby in the yorkshire area knew he was synonymous with foul play, something he carried through to England age groups sadly. A talented player, but in danger of blowing it.

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Patrick March 21, 2012 8:23 pm

absolutely disgusting. doesnt deserve to take to the field at all, let alone represent england as ive heard some suggest recently

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Charlie March 21, 2012 8:27 pm

That's a horrible tactic, personally I don't have a problem with judo or wrestling type tactics as long as they don't cause injury, what he does is clearly going to damage someone. It wasn't even effective either, don't know what he thinks he's achieving.

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Calon Lan March 21, 2012 8:40 pm

That's disgusting, you do see things in a full contact sport such as rugby which at times are bad but that was shocking. Never mind a ban, I can' understand why any team would even consider giving him a job after that.

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Reality March 21, 2012 8:49 pm

I couldn't agree more. Clubs never seem to say, "We don't want a thug like that representing us and giving us a bad name". Clermont should have gotten rid of Jamie Cudmore years ago for all the bad press he gave them, Stade Francais should have done the same with Dupuy after his double-gouge on Ferris, and Northampton should do it here with Clark.

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Pretzel March 21, 2012 10:03 pm

Sadly it is one of those things where clubs could not risk letting a "good" (not sure if he is or not) player go due to the danger of another team quickly snapping him up.

I mean if you took someone like Lomu, let's say he was dirty and forever getting into trouble, a team would have to forgive him rather than fire him due to the fact he could end up representing the opposition in their next games.

It needs a resounding hatred from all clubs and teams and FANS, to try and stamp this sort of stuff out.

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Reality March 22, 2012 1:50 am

I see what you mean about Lomu, but the three players I mentioned are hardly Lomu! I suppose sometimes it's just hard to admit that someone you work with and play with every day is a piece of filth and that he should never play for you again. They think they'd lose face, whereas in reality I'd respect them a lot more.

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Pretzel March 22, 2012 3:36 am

Yeh sorry, I get what you mean about them not being Lomu or Lomu-esque, but I suppose the same thing applies to players like Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger etc. I too would have far more respect if players rejected team mates for thuggery like this, and I would WANT it to happen.

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chrishunter100100 March 21, 2012 8:46 pm

absolutely vile, should be banned for a very lengthy time, at a minimum 6 months, possibly a year or more. disgusting and taking the aggressive and contact side of this amazing sport way too far!

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HP March 21, 2012 8:57 pm

Dupuy only got 6 months for his blatant and repeated attempts to gouge Stephen Ferris' eyes. This could go the 6 months route or hopefully longer

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tuilagi129 March 21, 2012 9:11 pm

I agree. He should at least be banned the time that it takes to recover from this injury and even longer, because actions like that one have nothing to do with rugby.

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Blew1 March 21, 2012 9:13 pm

Life ban should be the only option here. Deliberate. With intent. Not sportsmanslike. Awful.

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Pretzel March 21, 2012 9:16 pm

When I read the title I was expecting something truly pathetic and another reason to have a good old bitch about the refereeing bodies. But watching it and seeing it, I hope there is a big ban.

Hawkins is out for the rest of the season so there was nothing "weak" about the move. I think this sort of stuff needs to be banned for a long time.

I would put this sort of stuff in the same category as gouging. Attoub got 72weeks?!? I wouldn't have any sort of gripes if the sentence was 72 weeks.

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will h March 21, 2012 9:36 pm

as a Northampton fan im very disappointed, Clark has a clean sheet disciplin wise but this is not good, he needs to plead guilty.
because of his clean sheet and pleading guilty he should get 6-9months. but i hope Northampton ban him for longer.
on the day he was captain and you can not lead a team and do that. geordan murphy is my least favourite player in the world because he cheats, but when he cheats he does it to win not to injure other players.

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smeg head March 21, 2012 9:37 pm

when tuilagi punched ashton saints fans were going mental calling the tiger cheats and now this happens. banned for the rest of this season and the whole of the next

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Joshesdad March 21, 2012 9:40 pm

Compleatly intentional after the whistle had blown, no place for it in the game, in fact no place for this in society. Life ban or if not should be dealt with in court

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Calon Lan March 21, 2012 9:43 pm

I've just watched this again and I just can't believe Clark's assault on Rob Hawkins.

I tell you, if I was a Saint's supporter they would not get any money from me for shirts, tickets or anything else while he was still employed by them. I just wouldn't be willing to pay the wages of somebody like that.

No players are perfect but this sort of behaviour has no place in rugby and I'll be disappointed if rugby continues to support him after this.

I can't imagine that Cockerill is the sort of person who would want Clark in his squad after this.

I really hope that Hawkins comes out of this OK, it's clearly not going to be this season but I'd really hate for it to be the end of his career.

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alex denby March 21, 2012 9:45 pm

he does not have a clean record. he was sent off for headbutting in the JRWC final. he is a thug, just like other 'Saints' Hartley and Lawes.

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Pretzel March 22, 2012 3:43 am

Is Lawes a thug? I haven't ever thought of him as a dirty player, I always thought he was a bit of a quieter player and sort of kept out of that area of the game...

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Arfur March 22, 2012 1:35 pm

Well said Pretzel - many in rugby seem keen to label Lawes a thug but actually his disciplinary record is excellent. What he was banned for in the RWC was harsh - that kind of challenge is clumsy but is perpetrated in every game at least three or four times. He was judged harshly because the 'victim' was already unconscious following a clash of heads with Wiggy on the way down.

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themull March 21, 2012 9:59 pm

He started off simply trying to get his arm off the ball, but he kept on pulling at it after the whistle had gone and it was done with deliberate intent to cause injury...

Big ban is needed, I reckon 9 months, if not 12....

Also Rugbydump, Dylan hartely has been cited for apparently biting Stephen Ferris last week..Would like to see if you could get footage of that up if possible..

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Pretzel March 21, 2012 10:07 pm

"m March 20, 2012 5:12 pm
It occurs at around 0.42, personally I don't find it malicious at all."

It was posted in the comment section on the "England power past Ireland at Twickenham" video by "m".

Can't really see very much...Ferris' back is to the camera and he sort of rolls over appealing to the referee... but you can clearly see something happened in there, and if the referee saw a bite mark then that could be all the evidence they need.. I haven't seen the video again today but I think I recall Ferris may have been unscrewing Hartleys head, but don't quote me on that...

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Dave March 22, 2012 12:40 pm

RE: Bitemarks.

A team mate was bitten in a game, took a good chunk out as well. he went to the ref to show him, and the ref simply said "I've seen players bite themselves before to try and get a player sent off". Not at all saying Ferris did that, but just saying the ref seeing a bite mark is probably not enough proof.

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Arfur March 22, 2012 1:37 pm

Good point. You also can't see Hartley move his head so have to ask what Ferris's fingers were doing in his mouth in the first place.

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Mat March 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Happened to me once, Had this bastard in a maul fishhook me with two fingers in the mouth and pull as hard a he could, thought my cheek was going to rip. Bit him proper... And then he went to cry to the ref... to no avail.

You have to wonder why everybody is trying to maim Ferris, is it because they're trying to take him or because he's dirty and attacking everyone...

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Pretzel March 22, 2012 7:59 pm

Hmm yeh, Ferris does always seem to get in these sort of situations. I mean I'm not excusing all of the reactions, but WHY is it Ferris all the time? I mean he got his arm stamped on by Grewcock for holding (fringe defender) Grewcocks leg in a ruck right on the try line. He was gouged twice in one match, he is now bitten... These are the only incidents I can recall off hand, but I doubt Hartley would go out of his way to bite someone. (then again maybe he would..)

I think it can either be that Hartley was being "fishhooked" and bit down, OR Ferris just grabbed Hartley's head to twist him out the way, a finger went into Hartley's mouth and he decided to exact revenge.

I look forward to hearing what the panel decides on.

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Guy March 21, 2012 10:02 pm

Rougerie sewed Wasps over a tackle by Phil Greening, a tackle that damaged his throat. Now let's not start about his own recent antics....but the end result was that Wasps had to pay 60.000 pounds or Euros in damages.

In my opinion: this is the only way to go here. Ban the player for a long, long time and make the club pay for the damages. The club can try to get it back from the player. But most importantly they and every other club will be forced to reconsider if there is a place for this kind of scum in your squad.

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POCandROG March 21, 2012 10:08 pm

Isn't the the lad who was headbutting a punching a guy in a maul v NZ not too long ago,he has a mean streak in him and should be banned for 24 months

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Pretzel March 21, 2012 10:12 pm

I forgot about that actually, just did a youtube search and yes you're correct:

Looks like a nasty little weasel. Not sure where "will h" up there got it that Clark has a clean sheet...

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paimoe March 21, 2012 10:32 pm

That makes me wonder if he... really knows how to play rugby.

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Pretzel March 21, 2012 10:13 pm

Ah, it is in the related videos... excuse my post..

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Calon Lan March 21, 2012 10:34 pm

I didn't realise it was the same bloke although I do remember watching it at the time.

With the punching I can remember thinking what the hell did he think he was going to gain from doing that. Not excusing any punches at all but it was right in front of the officials and the NZ hooker (Sorry, don't know who he is) just looks at him wondering what the hell he's up to.

Twenty minutes later and after getting a warning he starts head butting the opposition and again from me it's a reaction of "What the hell are you doing?"

What perhaps makes it worse in all three offences is that he just seems so bloody calm when he's doing. Crazy.

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stroudos March 22, 2012 5:10 pm

Calon Lan: he just seems so bloody calm when he's doing - yeah, that's what struck me about this incident more than anything. Casually breaks a bloke's arm without any apparent provocation, then nonchalantly strolls away as though he's just kicked the ball into touch. I think it's fair to describe this behaviour as psychopathic. The bloke needs to be given a life ban from rugby and a course of psychiatric treatment.

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Kettlerugby March 21, 2012 10:35 pm

didnt think Clarky was that kind of player....poor form. Especially as I am a tigers fan!

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Ando March 21, 2012 10:42 pm

Just joined the dots about him being the same player from that Junior World Cup incident a few years back. He was a dirty, shameless player then, and from this incident he clearly still is. He is a disgrace, and not fit to play our beautiful game. I hope he gets a loooooong ban...

God damn that looked painful...

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Ban Clarke for life March 21, 2012 11:03 pm

What a disgrace. Ban him for life. Terrible behaviour in the u20s and then this. This isn't what rugby is about and he is not fit to play the game.

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GaryTC March 21, 2012 11:28 pm

Im not normally known to join these forums for an arse bitching on someone: Hartley on Ferris, if here didn't want to get bitten why put his fingers in Hartleys mouth! Would you. I know I wouldn't. But, to put things in perspective, Clarke needs a serious lesson, Attoub had 72 weeks for gouging, Dean Richards got 3 years for blood gate, Clarke should be gone for at least 5 years. Set the level and stick to it. This type of injury can be career ending.
I'm even more disturbed that Saints, if not Mallinder has not come out to say something against this barbaric act.

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Guest March 21, 2012 11:44 pm

I can't see how this is any different to the Bradley Davies incident on Ryan. Both disgusting acts

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stroudos March 22, 2012 5:12 pm

***Troll alert***

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aceno17 March 21, 2012 11:58 pm

Having watched what was an incredibly physical and passionate game of rugby played by two teams with great rivalry and lots of history... It is so sad to see such a blatant attempt to hurt an opposing player ! This great game demands respect for your opposition throughout the duration of the game and the social part following... This type of foul play is totally unacceptable and MUST be punished accordingly !

The old adage that "Rugby is a hooligans game played by Gentleman" surely does not include the type of behavior exhibited by Clark. He is a hooligan, and such behavior on the streets would require a lengthy prison sentence .... This should be reviewed as part of the RFU's Citing Policy !

I also agree with other comments about his ban beginning when Hawkins is healthy and eligible for the Tigers. Until then he should be suspended by The Saints without pay... I wish Hawkins a speedy recovery, especially as he is due for contract negotiations and a valued member of the prestigious Tigers Front Row !

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Irish_ape March 22, 2012 1:01 am

Filthy prick, lifetime ban and charge for gbh. That type of play is not what rugby is about, make an example of the c**t....

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Stubby March 22, 2012 1:19 am

Over in American football, the head coach of the New Orleans Saints received a 1 year suspension without pay (around $8M) for allowing a 'head hunting' program to be operated by the defensive coordinator. The coordinator is suspended indefinitely without pay. Players received cash bonuses up to $2500 for injuring opponents, with double payout in the playoffs and triple in the Super Bowl.

Something to shoot for here. Clark is an absolute fuckwit.

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donkeyballs4000 March 22, 2012 2:06 am

Looks like we have another scumbag in the Saints squad. I hope he gets the book thrown at him.

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Kettlerugby March 22, 2012 3:38 am

So gutted as he is in the current EPS sqaud and a decent prospect for the future. Such a shame he had to sink to that level...

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bnations March 22, 2012 4:06 am

It's worth noting that this sort of "wrestle on the floor for the ball" spectacle is a direct result of outlawing proper rucking. When the rules encourage wrestling, you get wrestling tactics.

Bring back the boot!

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stroudos March 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Brilliantly put bnations. Totally agree!

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Pretzel March 22, 2012 8:01 pm

Agreed! It is possibly the worst law change!

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Sankeor March 22, 2012 4:44 am

WTF !!
This is the kind of arm lock we use in judo and jiu-jitsu, and that looks totally intentional to me ! More than being mean and in total opposition with the spirit of collective sports, this guy is merely stupid !

And when you know that David Attoub received a 70 week ban (490 days) for an imaginary eye gouge on Stephen Ferris (who had no problem with his eyes at all) few years ago... this guy deserves a 5 years ban ! lol

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nemo34 March 22, 2012 9:14 am

I agree. A lesser ban than Attoub would be shameful if it was on an H-Cup game. Different rules may apply for this LV Cup.

I would go for a minimum of 12 months ban.

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Sankeor March 22, 2012 5:05 am

Wow, people, look at his wikipedia page.

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nathan March 22, 2012 8:49 am

lol, ok which one of you guys did that!

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stroudos March 22, 2012 5:16 pm

One of you should have made a screengrab. It's obviously been changed again, what did it say?

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bnations March 22, 2012 5:24 pm

stroudous, nothing ever goes away on Wikipedia, it just gets versioned.

Here's what got deleted -- note the rugbydump link in the references section. :-)

Clark is a player who prides himself on fowl play. After many notable incidences of ill discipline, he was described as the most cowardly player to step onto a Rugby pitch. Clark, a sneaky devil, normally waits for his victims to be in a position in which they cannot defend themselves, at which point he unleashes devastating physical attacks. His well stocked armory includes moves such as headbutts and arm bars. Players and fans of the game have stated that they would be happy if he never stepped foot on a Rugby Union pitch again. This short extract was lovingly written by Rob Hawkins. [4]

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Pretzel March 22, 2012 8:03 pm

There is that one as well, Calum spelled with 2 l's same guy though

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Spuff March 22, 2012 8:51 am

This guy has a history of foul play.

Inexcusable behaviour on a rugby field at and level.

I agree with Sankeor, 5 year ban minimal or banned for life. We do not need or want this type of behaviour on a rugby field.

Truely shocking.

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medicaluke March 22, 2012 2:04 pm

As a Saints fan I find this disgusting and deplorable. I totally agree with most of what has been said here and I think he will get off lightly with anything less than a year. I do not want players like this representing my club or my country.

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Ospreys 123 March 22, 2012 11:35 pm

Well said. I'm a welsh rugby fan living in England, and I won't go to another Saints game until they get rid of him.

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Rugby-not-ballet March 22, 2012 3:37 pm

This is rugby.. My view is why didn't he attempt to rollaway?

The PRA must sort teams out who kill the ball when the opposition is driving forward.. Leicester are pros at it.. Have been for years.. It is a shame that players are taking it upon themselves to deal with it themselves. Calcum is a quality player with a good record, no where near as bad as Tuilagi's punch!

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Kornboy130 March 22, 2012 4:42 pm

You must be kidding.

Manu has one ban for letting the red mist descend having been pushed in the back of the head - provocation which did not merit his response (hence the ban) but provocation none the less.

Clarke has maliciously gone about this without thinking twice in a situation where a player was defenceless and had not provoked him. It's the act of a coward and dirty player.

As for this being some kind of fair recompense for Tigers killing the ball - the whistle blew to award Saints a penalty Clark committed this act after play had stopped to address the issue. To suggest this is fair is ridiculous - such an act does not belong in our game and is up there with gouging.

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stroudos March 22, 2012 5:18 pm

***Troll alert***

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aceno17 March 23, 2012 1:47 pm

There are issues at the ruck following the latest rule changes... Every team will try and delay the opposing team possession in order to allow them to regain a defensive formation. This is not just a Leicester issue it a rugby issue.... The yellow card is for continuing infringements !

Clark has committed this act of intentional harming another player, it shows knowledge and intention in what he was doing. This is not an attempt to remove the player from the ruck... but to remove him from the game ! Hawkins was in the wrong position (as indicated by the penalty awarded) he was also in a defenseless position ! Clark's act was a cowardly cheap shot which must be treated with a maximum length ban...

As for comparing the Tuilagi / Ashton incident ??? This was 2 players going toe to toe ! I am not condoning Tuilagi's actions he was correctly banned for the punch, Ashton was the instigator and the 'red mist' response was inappropriate for sure.

As for your comment "this is rugby", you truly are mistaken... This has no place in the game ! Nor in my opinion does Clark for a prolonged period of time.

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aceno17 March 23, 2012 1:51 pm

There are issues at the ruck following the latest rule changes... Every team will try and delay the opposing team possession in order to allow them to regain a defensive formation. This is not just a Leicester issue it a rugby issue.... The yellow card is for continuing infringements !

Clark has committed this act of intentional harming another player, it shows knowledge and intention in what he was doing. This is not an attempt to remove the player from the ruck... but to remove him from the game ! Hawkins was in the wrong position (as indicated by the penalty awarded) he was also in a defenseless position ! Clark's act was a cowardly cheap shot which must be treated with a maximum length ban...

As for comparing the Tuilagi / Ashton incident ??? This was 2 players going toe to toe ! I am not condoning Tuilagi's actions he was correctly banned for the punch, Ashton was the instigator and the 'red mist' response was inappropriate for sure.

As for your comment "this is rugby", you truly are mistaken... This has no place in the game ! Nor in my opinion does Clark for a prolonged period of time.

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Reality March 23, 2012 12:59 am

Good troll-spotting there Stroudos. Normally there are dozens of rebuttals and arguments over silly comments like these ones. You're keeping this place respectable.

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lt March 22, 2012 4:41 pm

bed beahviour, no doubts, punismenth until the other player recover`s

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rossakeating March 22, 2012 5:21 pm

What you see here is a guy desperate to perform for his team, what he did is inexcusably but the amount of incidents that go uncited and unpunished in rugby as much of an issue. All this chat about GBH also is ludicrous to be guilty of GBH you need intention to inflict the harm and it needs to be way outside the rules of the game this is neither.
In the professional game today you see players behaving all the time in ways they would not normally do and outside the rules to get the edge over the opposition. But why do we always chase the player? I believe some of the emphasis needs to be placed on coaches who are saying this behaviour is acceptable towards end goals as teams and clubs.

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Pretzel March 23, 2012 12:22 pm

Intention to inflict harm = arm bar + hyper extension isn't going to inflict joy or unlock some hidden talent within Hawkins.

It needs to be way outside the rules of the game = Last time I checked the laws don't condone arm bars or purposely hyper extending players limbs. Perhaps they are not written to include such actions but I think we (almost) all can accept this can easily land Clark in a criminal court. I for one hope it does! Nobody can do that without intention to harm.

Oh and for the record you do NOT have to have intent to be convicted of GBH, then again I am not sure if a broken bone is classed as a wound regarding GBH, so it may even be ABH... either way...

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Jaques March 23, 2012 2:33 pm

GBH covers both Section 18 assault, which requires intent, and Section 20 assault, which is called 'wounding without intent', where the intention was only to cause minor pain or harm, but unintentionally caused major harm.
Now, it may be questionable exactly how much harm Clark intended to inflict, but broken bones definitely fall within the GBH category. These are not actions which you would normally expect on a sports field. Different from say broken bones due to a hard (or even slightly illegal) tackle, which you would expect from time to time, and is an inherent risk of playing a contact sport which you have accepted. Having someone wrenching your arm backwards to hyperextend your elbow while you lie on the ground, after the whistle has already gone, is not something you would expect to experience on a rugby pitch.

I honestly think it's not that ridiculous to suggest he could be done for GBH, although I personally think a very lengthy ban from rugby would suffice.

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Tullowtank March 22, 2012 5:59 pm

from the video it APPEARS as if it could be intentional, that is not to say it was but it looks that way and whether he mean to break the players arm and not just merely hurt him is another question. This was by no means a simple tangling of bodies, Clark is clearly seen holding the Rob Hawkins' arm and pulling it back against itself.

From a legal perspecitve, forgetting rugby for a moment, you could easily argue that it was easily foreseeable that the injury that resulted would occur. Clark therefore holds a duty of care to not injure the player. Clark grabbed Hawkins' arm, placed it in a dangerous position that could easily break his arm and continued to attempt to hurt the player or indeed break the bone.

Personally I am devastated to see this on a rugby field and is by far in a way the worst action I have ever seen carried out by one player on another on any sports field, that I can think of ever seeing. He should be brought before the courts and charged with assault as there appears to be no other explanation for it. I do not wish to open up a precedent where any citing incident can go before a a court of law but this goes far and beyond a dangerous tip tackle or over agressive rucking, tackling and rucking are at least parts of the game. This was a callous, malicious attack and I believe he should be given a ban of numerous years. This is worse than drug cheats. Drug cheats take risks with their own body and risk their own carees. This is risking another innocent player's livlihood and I for one hope that his ban represents that. A life-time ban in this instance may be appropriate. Anything below two years would be an outrage, IF we can prove that he did intentially put the player in such a dangerous position. The evidence would appear to suggest that he did however.

Callum Clark, I for one currently thing you are an awful human being.

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Pretzel March 22, 2012 8:09 pm

Well, if I was Hawkins, I would sue the sh*t out of the Northampton club, I would also get the police involved and I would quite happily lead a one handed round of applause when Calum Clark is told he has a lifetime ban.

But of course we can all expect to hear that it was "reckless" and therefore enjoy the fact he gets a 10 month ban, reduced to 5 because of his recent "good record" then reduced a further 3 months because he pleaded guilty...

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Rugby Lawyer March 22, 2012 8:40 pm

This is straight criminal behaviour: sod "assault", it's s18 GBH (grievous bodily harm) with intent - he should get a prison term for this.
Secondly Hawkins should sue him and the club for lost earnings (from the comments this could easily be the end of Hawkins career). Take his house, take his pension and car.
Life ban from the game would be appropriate.
My kids play this game. People like him have no place in it.

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aceno17 March 23, 2012 1:49 pm

Well said... I played and now coach this game ! It is idiots like this that tarnish the whole spirit of the game !

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fdb March 22, 2012 10:07 pm

He must be judged by rugby justice but also by the justice of his country. That's not rugby, that's deliberate violence

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Andyboy March 22, 2012 10:38 pm

Well, well...

I'm glad to see we haven't got the usual smattering of "what's wrong with a bit of "biff", this isn't football" comments that proliferate when these acts of thuggery are shown on RD.

What's even more laughable is that some idiot is charged with common assault for lobbing a water bottle at Kevan Mealamu whilst these acts of GBH during a game of rugby aren't even spotted by officials paid to do so (and anyone who watched Mealamu carry out that premeditated spear tackle on BO'D all those years ago will surely not have much sympathy for him anyway).

I too hope Clark gets the book thrown at him. Deliberately fracturing an opponents arm (if that what the ruling is) should carry a lengthy ban and, if I had my way, the option for Hawkins to bring criminal charges.

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CraigDavidAllOverYou March 22, 2012 11:22 pm

There are nearly 100 comments here now and I don't think one has watched the video closely enough to see that it's Tom Wood's bodyweight falling on the arm that does the damage. I very much doubt Clark was in control of where Wood's body was going.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but I find it very difficult to credit that one player would deliberately set out to break or dislocate the bones of another. Putting someone in an arm lock in an uncontrolled situation is certainly reckless but isn't the same as a malicious attempt to maim, even if the arm does get broken when another player falls onto it while it's in the arm lock.

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Ospreys 123 March 22, 2012 11:40 pm

I don't agree. You might find it hard to accept that a player would do this deliberately, but perhaps you haven't seen how Clark behaved during the U20 world cup in 2007.

Headbutts, stamps, punches, arm-locks...and not a great deal of quality rugby! What a poor advert he is for one of the best sports going.

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coops March 23, 2012 12:45 am

Firstly, superb name.

BUT I think you're wrong re:Wood. Wood is lying on a different part of Hawkins' body, whilst Clark uses his body weight as a pivot on Clark's elbow.

I accept the odd fight in a match. Even's Ashton's hair pulling was forgivable - it happened in the heat of a moment in a match. This however happened after the penalty had been given and was an attempt (whether reckless or with intent) to injure a player.

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Pretzel March 23, 2012 12:49 am

"I find it very difficult to credit that one player would deliberately set out to break or dislocate the bones of another"

But blinding or attempting to damage the eyes of a player isn't difficult to believe? We have seen countless gouges over the years, this is just another example of the kind of crap that goes on when players go too far....

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Jacques March 23, 2012 2:37 pm

At last! Good for them, I hope he never plays for them again!

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David March 23, 2012 12:34 pm

12 months please. Completely out of line with the morals and respect of the game. Only way is to stamp it out. It was malicious and un-becoming of the game with no provocation. And he's meant to know better, he's in the England EPS.

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Dan March 23, 2012 1:37 pm

Say what u want he's a quality player but has done something stupid. Worse than gauging tho? Not sure

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Pretzel March 23, 2012 2:09 pm

I'd say they go in the same category. Granted bones will probably heal better than eyes (I would guess?) so yes gouging could leave someone blinded. But they are both hideous acts.

I just feel this sort of thing is beyond what we expect. A punch is also designed to hurt someone, but for some reason we can let that slip, it happens, heat of the moment and a player strikes out. This on the other hand just seems to go passed blind reaction rage into something different.

I just think punches are more instinctive (although I accept they are illegal), but arm bars and gouges are more thought out.

I doubt he meant to break Hawkins arm, but I don't really see any other outcome of this sort of move. In all honesty, I don't care about a "quality player" label, he could be the best player in the world who everyone wants a piece of, but if he carries out this kind of shit then he is far from quality in my eyes. He is a liability, and a loose cannon and I do truly hope he gets banned for a LONG time, if not indefinitely.

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Paul March 23, 2012 1:49 pm

Had to watch a good 5 times before I could even make out what went on. The sneaky rat shouldn’t play again, instead he should take up mma and hopefully get the snot beat of him every week.

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Dan March 23, 2012 2:36 pm

U think everyone on here is getting carried away with lifetime bans an getting far too emotional, it could be reaction an frustration had they been in a maul then perhaps a punch but with him at the bottom of a ruck an just his arm there reaction may have been to bend it wrong way to make him wince as a punch would but adrenaline takes over an instead of a keep out where u shouldn be its a broken arm! Lifetime tho don't be rediculous 4-8 months more what it should be

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Mike March 23, 2012 3:12 pm

The O should get a at least 12 months. And put on a watch list - do something remotely similar and that's it - career over.

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Paul March 23, 2012 3:53 pm

I think most of the bad reaction is justified. The under 20 world cup video posted above shows that he takes pleasure in hurting the opposition. On more than one occasion he was like a ram lining players up and running as hard as he could looking for head on head collisions. He then smirks and shakes his head when the ref sends him off. The guy clearly has nothing between the ears and doesnt learn from his mistakes. looks like his club have realized as much even before the hearing

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Buzzer March 23, 2012 4:34 pm

I dont think he should get a ban! An adequate punishment would be to have both his arms broken by arm bar! No suspension needed

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sclark March 23, 2012 7:01 pm

This is hilarious, all these tigers fans saying clarks actions were disgraceful...
think back to a year ago when tulagi assaulted chris ashton, whats more dangerous a blow to the head or a broken arm. pathetic.

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Pretzel March 23, 2012 8:40 pm

Obviously depends on the severity of the blow to the head. As it was Ashton appeared to not suffer any ill effects. So in this case, I'd say a broken arm is worse.

What about the blow to the head Ashton gave tuilagi when he pushed him, could have caused severe whiplash.

and for the record, I'm not a tigers fan.

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Kornboy130 March 23, 2012 9:36 pm

Tuilagi was provoked and lashed out at a man who was standing and able to fight back. It goes without saying though that his reaction was way over the top. Hence why he got a ban. It was seemingly a case of minor provocation and the red mist descending.

Clark in this instance has attacked, without provocation, someone who is defenceless and pinned down.

We all have moments of rage where we act out - or at least most players do at some point in their careers. Not many go out of their way, without provocation, to attack and hurt someone else.

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nathan March 26, 2012 9:29 pm

Oh well Tuilagi punched Ashton last year so make's this incident all ok. Grow up you muppet! and i hate to break it to you, but not everybody commenting on here is a Tigers fan. But there still showing disgust in what Clark did. What does that tell you? It was truly sickening act.

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nathan March 26, 2012 9:29 pm

any chance RD can get the reverse angle up? it was broadcast on sky but i missed it!

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duncandisorderly March 28, 2012 1:32 pm

the guy is a disgrace to the sport, we all know rugger is a tough game and you get hurt, but that kinda cr*p then justifies revenge hits, someone should break his fookin elbow!!

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Ando March 29, 2012 6:52 am

What's the latest on this? Thought it would have been ruled upon by now. Hope this thug gets a long time away from the game!

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Rugbydump March 29, 2012 7:24 am

The hearing is tonight at 18:30

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Kecco March 29, 2012 3:33 pm

we don't need this kind of idiots, am I wrong?

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Kecco March 29, 2012 3:39 pm

oops...already posted. sorry!

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curates_egg March 29, 2012 9:12 pm

Northampton players seem to be involved in a lot of disgraceful behaviour on a rugby pitch. Could some English rugby fan please explain to a non-English rugby fan why that is?

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fdb March 29, 2012 9:16 pm

32 weeks... not enough

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Kyran March 29, 2012 9:26 pm

what a massive cunt

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mise March 29, 2012 10:04 pm

32 weeks so, is it?

Me, I blame Stephen Ferris. He's the girl in the short skirt in this situation...

come on folks - Ferris to blame for begin gouged and bitten? Nothing wrong with his eye?!? FFS!

Maybe, just maybe, he's been playing like a complete animal (in a good way) when he's been fit and players are trying to take him out?

32 weeks for Clark does seem v weak. I'd also be interested in hearing a follow up on the N'thhampton query.

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