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Williams banned for six weeks

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Owen Williams has been banned for six weeks following an RFU disciplinary hearing into an incident during the Aviva Premiership semi-final.

The charge against Leicester Tigers fly-half Williams for acts contrary to good sportsmanship, contrary to Law 10.4.M in that he made contact with the eye(s) or eye area of Luther Burrell in the 64th minute, was heard on Tuesday evening. The player pleaded guilty.
He was given a six-week ban from the date of the hearing until September 1, covering three tour games with Wales and three pre-season fixtures with Leicester Tigers, and is free to play again on September 2.
The hearing was held at the Bristol Holiday Inn and the panel comprised of Sir James Dingemans and John Doubleday.
Simon Cohen, Leicester Tigers chief executive, said: “The panel agreed there was no intent from Owen to make contact with the eye area of another player and he has a previously impeccable disciplinary record.
“The way the offence is worded within the IRB’s disciplinary process, however, puts a player in a very difficult position.
“Any deliberate contact with the eyes is quite rightly viewed very seriously within the sport, but there appears to be a flaw in the process which includes such a high entry point for any offence of contact with the eyes or eye area, whether this is deliberate or, as in this case, the player did not take enough care where he put his hand and it was deemed reckless. 
“In this context, a player has the unenviable choice of pleading guilty to a potentially serious offence and facing the consequences, or pleading not guilty and facing a potentially lengthy ban while also losing mitigation.”