IRB call for 'spitting' Frenchman to feel force of law


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The Independent Online

Peter Stringer was “disgusted” at apparently being spat at by his French opposite number Jérôme Fillol as Bath became the last English side to crash out of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

The independent citing officer Eugene Ryan, from Ireland, has until this afternoon to decide whether to cite Fillol for the 25th-minute incident at The Rec on Saturday.

Stringer said after the game that spitting on an opponent was “as low as you can probably go”.

The 35-year-old tweeted: “Disgusted at what happened yesterday in the game. No place for it in rugby or any walk of life.”

Stringer and Fillol had already exchanged words before they clashed. Television replays showed a verbal exchange before a scrum and Fillol then aimed a spit in the face of the former Ireland international.

Brett Gosper, the chief executive of the International Rugby Board, tweeted: “Spitting on Stringer should be punished to the full extent of the law.”

Under the IRB disciplinary code, the sanction for spitting ranges between four and at least 11 weeks, depending on the severity of the offence. The maximum ban is 52 weeks.

Fijian wing Waisea Vuidravuwalu played a starring role as Stade Français reached the semi-finals.

He scored two of Stade’s four tries and helped to lay on the other two for full-back Hugo Bonneval, with fly-half Jules Plisson, scrum-half Fillol and replacement Jérôme Porical all contributing points with the boot.

Bath secured a penalty try and consolation scores from replacements Michael Claassens and Jack Cuthbert, while Stephen Donald kicked five points. After defeats for Gloucester and Wasps, Bath were the last English hope in the second-tier tournament. But they were ruthlessly exposed by the greater fluency of a side languishing in the lower reaches of the Top 14.

In addition to Vuidravuwalu, there was another Herculean display by captain Sergio Parisse to marvel at, while Bonneval was a classy presence throughout as Stade advanced to play Perpignan.