Super Rugby closes perplexing loophole allowing bye rounds to count towards player suspensions

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AAP

Super Rugby has closed a judicial loophole that had previously counted bye rounds as part of a player's suspension.

From this season, the system will be adjusted to ensure guilty players serve the proper length of bans they are issued, as part of a raft of changes to Super Rugby's judicial process unveiled on Thursday by SANZAAR.

SANZAAR has also introduced a three-person foul-play review committee, which will scrutinise all red-card incidents, citing commissioner referrals and misconduct charges.

The panel is headed by senior judicial officer Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) and also includes former international players John Langford (Australia) and Stefan Terblanche (South Africa).

Other changes include a new warning for offences that do not quite meet the red- card threshold, as well as permission for incidents to be referred back to the citing commissioner for review if new evidence comes to light outside the existing judicial time frame.

"SANZAAR believes Super Rugby has unique challenges across six territories and 15 time zones and the enhanced Super Rugby judicial process will deliver a more streamlined and effective system for teams and a more consistent outcome for players and fans to identify with," chief executive Andy Marinos said.

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