Byrnes set to appeal fine
Melbourne - Melbourne Rebels lock Adam Byrnes is expected to appeal his big fine
from Super Rugby's governing body SANZAR for his verbal lashing of
Waratahs centre Tom Carter.
Byrnes was fined $7 500 on Wednesday for an ''unwarranted and serious
verbal attack'' on Carter in newspaper comments published in March.
They came after he had successfully appealed a 10-match ban for
dangerous play against Carter who had alleged he was eye-gouged by the
Russian international during the round-two match at AAMI Park.
Byrnes, who hasn't played since that match due to an elbow injury, has
until 4pm today to decide whether to appeal, but it is believed he
intends to do so.
SANZAR judicial officer Nigel Hampton found he had committed an ''act of misconduct''.
He said that the interview contained ''an unwarranted and serious verbal
attack by Mr Byrnes on the integrity and good character of another
player [Carter], an attack such as well might impair public confidence
in that other player's character and integrity''.
In the newspaper story, Byrnes said Carter's actions were a ''disgrace''.
''I give him credit as a player, but to carry on in terms of bringing
another player down and potentially ruining their livelihood, it is a
very poor quality to have as a human being,'' Byrnes was quoted as
saying. ''To be falsely accused with such a slanderous tag as Tom has
said is extremely poor form.''
Hampton said he gave credit to Byrnes's long and unblemished career, but found there was no remorse shown or apology issued.
He ordered him to pay a fine of $5 000 and $2 500 in SANZAR costs.
Rebels chief Steve Boland said the club had supported Byrnes but any appeal was ''a decision for Adam''.