IRB mulls rule change
International Rugby Board (File)
London -The International Rugby Board said on Tuesday it was mulling a change to disciplinary procedures after being prevented from acting upon evidence of serious foul play during last month's World Cup final.
A statement from the IRB said the body was considering increasing the length of the window in which individuals can be cited following an incident involving France's Aurelien Rougerie and New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw.
Television footage appeared to show France centre Rougerie raking his hand across McCaw's face as the All Blacks captain lay trapped on the floor.
However, because the footage only emerged more than 36 hours after the completion of the match, the IRB's citing commissioner Scott Nowland was unable to act on the evidence.
The IRB said on Tuesday it was now considering increasing the 36-hour window.
"The International Rugby Board can confirm that no action can be taken to initiate a citing case following an alleged act of foul play during the Rugby World Cup 2011 Final on 23 October," the IRB statement said.
"Mr Nowland has determined that he cannot cite the alleged act of foul play as the footage emerged outside the citing period and he is unable to bring the matter within the exceptional circumstances provisions contained in the Tournament Disciplinary Rules which deal principally with mistaken identity and where further time is required to identify a player who may have committed an act of foul play.
"Both Unions have been advised of the outcome.
"The IRB and Rugby World Cup Limited take all acts of foul play seriously.
"The ongoing review of Regulation 17 governing the disciplinary process will give consideration to Tournament Rules and IRB Regulations to consider either extending the citing periods or widening the remit of the exceptional circumstance provisions to deal with the emergence of evidential materials following the elapse of the citing period."