Former France international Gregory Lamboley has shared his dismay on Twitter after his compatriot Paul Gabrillagues was handed a six-week suspension after a disciplinary hearing
The France and Stade Francais lock received the ban for an illegal clear-out of Scotland’s John Barclay last weekend where he made contact with the Scottish player’s head.
Tweeting in French, Lamboley claimed it was “outrageous” that Gabrillagues received a six-week ban – reduced from a 10-week entry point – while the All Blacks’ Scott Barrett only received a three-week ban for a head offence the week before, meaning he will not miss any of the World Cup.
Toulouse legend Lamboley clearly feels that Barrett’s offence was worse, or at least not worthy of receiving half the ban that Gabrillagues did.
Barrett saw red in the first half of the first Bledisloe Cup Test two weekends ago for making contact with Australian captain Michael Hooper’s head.
The majority of the rugby world agreed that it was a red card for Barrett, although his three-week ban was deemed light as it meant he only missed last weekend’s rematch against Australia and is free for the World Cup. Barrett received a six-week ban but had the punishment halved due to his clean track record.
With Gabrillagues missing the remainder of France’s warm-up matches and their opening three pool matches at the World Cup, the disparity has started a debate regarding the length of bans and adjudication of offences with Lamboley one of the first to weigh in.
Stade Francais lock Gabrillagues will miss the start of the World Cup, but it could end his participation in the tournament altogether after Romain Taofifenua was drafted into the squad by Jacques Brunel for the Test against Scotland this weekend.
With World Rugby growing increasingly stringent on the laws surrounding contact to the head, there has been an increase in controversy, particularly due to the inconsistency of officiating between matches. However, it is the inconsistency in punishments that has proven controversial here, opening up a new debate.