Johnny Sexton has been suspended for three matches and Leinster Rugby have been handed a suspended £7500 fine following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from the Heineken Champions Cup final on 20 May last.
The following statement is issued on behalf of the independent Disciplinary Committee.
With the consent of the parties, the independent Disciplinary Committee (comprising Christopher Quinlan KC, Chair, (World Rugby Independent Judicial Panel Chair), Adam Casselden SC (former Chair SANZAAR Judicial Committee) and Marcello D’Orey (former International Rugby Player) announced its decision and full written reasons today in respect of the Misconduct case brought against Johnny Sexton and Leinster Rugby. Those written reasons are public and will be available on the EPCR website.
Johnny Sexton admitted Misconduct. The Disciplinary Committee found his behaviour confrontational and aggressive towards and disrespectful of the match officials, it included his pointing his finger at them and shouting at them something to this effect: “it’s a disgrace you guys can’t get the big decisions right” probably accompanied by expletives “most likely the f-word”. His conduct was obviously unsportsmanlike and brought the sport of rugby union into disrepute.
Having regard to the full circumstances of the Misconduct and the mitigation which is set out in detail in the written reasons, the Disciplinary Committee concluded that the appropriate and proportionate sanction was an immediate suspension of three matches. He is suspended with immediate effect and cannot play in the following Ireland matches:
1. 5 August Italy
2. 19 August England
3. 26 August Samoa
He is free to play on 27 August 2023.
The Disciplinary Committee upheld the Misconduct Complaint against Leinster Rugby. Having regard to the limited extent to which it was at fault and relevant mitigation, the Disciplinary Committee concluded that the appropriate penalty was a fine in the sum of £7500, suspended until the end of the 2023/24 EPCR season. If Leinster commits another act of Misconduct before the end of the 2023/24 EPCR season it must pay that sum in full.
Sexton, Leinster Rugby and EPCR have the right to appeal the decisions, which must be done by 1600 BST on Wednesday 19 July 2023.