Ross Ford (Getty Images)
Edinburgh - Scotland confirmed on Thursday
that they would appeal against the bans handed down to hooker Ross Ford and
lock Jonny Gray that have ruled the duo out of Sunday's Rugby World Cup
quarter-final against Australia.
The disciplinary tribunal handed the pair
three-week suspensions for a dangerous tackle on Samoa's Jack Lam in their Pool
B match on Saturday.
"Scottish Rugby can confirm it will
appeal against the suspensions given to Ross Ford and Jonny Gray following the
RWC match vs Samoa," the Scottish Rugby Union said on its official Twitter
The bans, which rule out the two players
for the rest of the tournament should Scotland beat Australia, have been
heavily criticised, with former Scotland international Kenny Logan describing
them as a "sick joke".
"Two Scottish players with a perfect
disciplinary record get a three-week ban for clearing out a player with no
malicious intent at a ruck just because he fell awkwardly. There is no level
playing field. This is a shameful decision," Logan said on Wednesday.
Even Australia coach Michael Cheika has
expressed sympathy for the banned pair, while ex-Wales international Jonathan
Davies has described the tournament's disciplinary hearings as a
Judicial officer Christopher Quinlan, who
headed the tribunal that banned the duo, ignored referee Jaco Peyper's opinion
of the incident while making his decision, The Times reported on Thursday.
The paper said that Peyper, who was in
charge of the game at Newcastle's St James Park, told the tribunal in an email
that he had seen the tackle, stating: "After our internal performance
review process, I am satisfied that I dealt with the incident
Quinlan's written judgment dismissed
Peyper's evidence as inadmissible, citing the Tournament Disciplinary Programme
(TDP) rules stating that referees and assistant referees "may only give
evidence of fact, not opinion", the newspaper added.