Bath Rugby duo Dan Hipkiss and Michael Claassens cleared by an RFU panel
Bath players Dan Hipkiss and Michael Claassens were both cleared last night by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel.
Centre Hipkiss had been cited for an alleged tip tackle on London Irish forward Jamie Gibson.
And Bath scrum-half Claassens was found not guilty of kicking Matt Garvey in the same Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium.
Chief disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett explained: “On review of the DVD the panel determined that Dan Hipkiss did not drop or drive Jamie Gibson’s head and/or upper body into the ground.
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“Dan Hipkiss tackled Jamie Gibson such that he landed on his back, so that the elements of law 10.4.J were not made out.
“The panel determined that the contact between Michael Claassens and Matt Garvey was a clumsy collision.
“Michael Claassens’ movements were defensive and he made contact with knee and arms. He did not kick Matt Garvey.”
Exeter forward James Hanks was also cleared of deliberately eye-gouging Saracens lock Steve Borthwick.
Hanks was cited with allegedly making contact with Borthwick’s eye or eye area during Exeter’s 14-12 win.
The RFU panel concluded that the contact had been accidental and the citing was dismissed. Blackett said: “The contact occurred in a dynamic situation during a ruck, when James Hanks was driving forward and putting his hand down to prevent him from falling over. The contact was entirely accidental.”