Keven Mealamu, the New Zealand hooker, appeared before an independent IRB Appeal Committee, chaired by Peter Ingwersen (South Africa) and also comprising Robert Williams (Wales) and Jean-Noel Couraud (France). The hearing was held as a result of the New Zealand player, Keven Mealamu’s appeal against a four-week sanction imposed by Judicial Officer, Professor Lorne Crerar, following the player having been cited for foul play by the IRB’s independent Citing Commissioner for the match between England and New Zealand on Saturday 6 November. The hearing took place in Edinburgh and was attended by the player, his legal representatives and Steve Hansen (New Zealand Assistant Coach), together with the Six Nations Disciplinary Officer and the Six Nations legal representative.
The original citing was made for striking an opponent with the head, contrary to Law 10.4 (a).
Although they upheld the original decision that there had been an act of foul play, having had the opportunity to review the video footage, the Appeal Committee concluded that the act was not intentional and that it merited a lower end entry point in the IRB list of sanctions, namely 4 weeks.
In view of the compelling mitigating factors and the absence of aggravating factors, this was reduced to two weeks meaning that Mr. Mealamu is free to resume playing on Monday 22 November 2010.