Saracens star Maro Itoje escapes ban after citing for dangerous tackle dismissed

England forward Maro Itoje has avoided a ban after being cited for a dangerous tackle during Saracens’ victory over Gallagher Premiership title rivals Bath.

The Saracens lock is free to play with immediate effect after the citing was dismissed by an independent disciplinary panel, the Rugby Football Union said.

The news is a major boost for second-placed Saracens ahead of their final two regular season games against Bristol and Sale Sharks.

Itoje made an upright tackle on Bath number eight Alfie Barbeary during the first half of Saracens’ 15-12 win at the Recreation Ground, making head contact in the process.

Referee Luke Pearce yellow-carded him, viewing the fact it was not direct head-on-head contact as mitigation for not showing a red.

Panel chair Philip Evans KC said: “The panel heard and considered evidence from Maro Itoje and the Bath player and were able to examine the footage of the incident many times and from many different angles.

“In particular, the panel watched the footage from the rear view of Itoje which, when considered alongside the rest of the footage, demonstrated it was more likely than not that contact was not initially with the head or simultaneously with the head and the body.


“Instead, contact with the head appears to come later and can properly be described as more glancing than direct in nature.

“In all of the circumstances, the panel did not conclude that a high degree of danger was created and therefore the on-field decision stands.

“The player is free to play with immediate effect.”


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