The RFU have made what could turn out to be a landmark judgement by overturning the ban handed to Wasps star Nathan Hughes for kneeing Northampton’s George North last month, The Telegraph reports.
The Wasps number 8 was sent off as North placed down a try during Northampton’s 52 – 30 victory on March 27.
It had appeared that Hughes had kneed the Wales wing in the head, causing Sir James Dingemans, the RFU’s head of independent rugby judiciary, to hand out a three week ban, citing Hughes’ “recklessness” as the main reason behind his decision.
However, in an appeal hearing on Friday afternoon, panel chairman Jeremy Summers overturned the decision claiming that there was no evidence of foul play and that the incident was actually purely accidental.
North suffered a concussion during the clash, and was subsequently stood down for a month by neurologists as Wasps put together an appeal.
“As a club, we feel we have a duty not only to protect player welfare, but also to protect the reputation of players who we feel have been unfairly sanctioned,” said Wasps’ rugby director Dai Young.
“We strongly believed this incident was an accident and that is why we appealed.
“We are delighted for Nathan that he has had the red card dismissed. He is a good guy, who has always had a clean record and I am pleased for him that that remains.”
See below for a video of the incident.