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    Byrnes faces SANZAR sanction

    2012-04-05 07:43
    Sydney - Super Rugby's governing body is considering sanctioning Rebels lock Adam Byrnes over comments he made in the media attacking Waratahs centre Tom Carter last month.

    Byrnes accused Carter of trying to ruin his livelihood by levelling an eye gouging allegation against him during the Waratahs' round two win over the Rebels in Melbourne. He told a media outlet Carter's actions were a ''disgrace'' and displayed ''a very poor quality as a human being''. It is understood Byrnes's comments could have contravened SANZAR's code of conduct, which prevents players from criticising match officials and team members.

    SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters on Wednesday confirmed Byrnes's ''printed comments [are] under consideration''. The 30-year-old made the comments the day after a three-person appeals committee overturned an initial 10-week playing ban handed down by the SANZAR judiciary in the wake of the game.

    The Rebels appealed the decision on the basis the scratch left on Carter's eye was ''absolutely accidental and without intent''. Byrnes later said Carter's pursuit of the complaint had threatened his career and had been an attempt to bring him down.

    ''I understand that in the heat of battle things are said. But to follow that through in a written statement and go through this process is a disgrace,'' he told the newspaper. ''I think that is bringing the game into disrepute, and it is the type of character that I would never like to portray. I don't know the bloke, but to carry on like he has is very poor quality.''

    If SANZAR were to take action over Byrnes's comments, it is believed it would be the first time a player has been penalised under the code of conduct for criticising another player. In May last year Reds winger Digby Ioane was fined $2 000 for criticising match referee Keith Brown on Twitter. Ioane, who did not play in the match due to a hairline facial fracture, called Brown the ''worst ref ever''. In 2010 former Brumbies star Matt Giteau was fined $5 000 for attacking referee Steve Walsh and in 2007 Eddie Jones was fined $10 000 for a longer attack on another rugby official, Matt Goddard.

    Neither the Rebels nor the Waratahs were willing to comment on the matter last night. It is understood the Rebels were not aware Byrnes had given the interview following the team's successful appeal. Byrnes's agent Mathew Cole said the second-rower was concentrating on regaining his match fitness.

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