Strauss a headache for Bok coach!

The suspension means that Strauss will miss both tests against Wales as well as the test against the World XV and will only become available again for the test against Scotland in Port Elizabeth on June 28.

Strauss pleaded guilty at the Sanzar tribunal of contravening Law 10.4 (j) -¬ Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground while that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.

The suspension leaves Meyer with a massive headache as Strauss was due to play back up to first choice hooker Bismarck du Plessis in the June tests and there are few other candidates available who aren’t either injured or overseas.

Both Chiliboy Ralepelle and Scarra Ntubeni have been injured and are unavailable, while Meyer didn’t include a third hooker in this week’s Springbok camp in Durban.

It is widely expected that he will call up Schalk Brits after a brilliant season with Saracens, but Brits is down to play for the World XV in the Cape Town test match.

Of course there is nothing that stops Meyer from calling up Brits now, forcing the World XV to find another hooker, while Toulon’s Craig Burden is another contender at this stage.

Callie Visagie was called up to the Bok camp but it is really debatable if he has done enough to warrant selection for the June tests or if he is there just to make up the numbers.

Sanzar Judicial officer Adam Casselden accepted the guilty plea after Strauss was cited and decided on the three week sentence after hearing mitigating factors in the case.

But there is still a question-mark once again over the consistency in punishments handed out by Sanzar’s judiciary, as Jean Deysel got three weeks for stamping in an opponent’s face, while Flip van der Merwe received the same punishment for a single punch in the scrum.

Casselden explained his ruling as follows:

“After initially reviewing the video footage and Citing Commissioner’s report, I heard submissions from the player’s representatives, including his counsel Mr Stephan Weyers, and obtained their views of the incident. I then proceeded by establishing that the player accepted a breach for the cited offence and then identified the various factors involved in the incident.

“I considered the incident had an entry point in the low end range which starts at a four week suspension for lifting tackles. I then added two weeks as a deterrent to send a further message that this type of tackle cannot be tolerated in the game due to the risk it poses to players. I also considered the player’s upcoming schedule of games as required under the IRB regulations. The Cheetahs have a bye according to this week’s Super Rugby schedule and I have not seen any evidence that satisfies me that the player was scheduled to play rugby. This is followed by four South African test matches scheduled to occur in the June international window.

“The player has consistently been a part of the Springbok match-day squad in recent seasons with 12 tests to his name in 2013 as either the starting or reserve hooker and is named in the squad named for the June window. For this reason I consider the upcoming matches for South Africa against the World XV, Wales and Scotland as part of his upcoming schedule.

“Factors considered in mitigation included the player’s excellent record extending over 33 test matches for South Africa and over 100 Super Rugby matches, his good character and the player’s early admission of guilt for the tackle and remorse shown for the incident, I reduced the six week suspension to three weeks. Accordingly, the player is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including Saturday 21 June 2014 which incorporates his next three scheduled matches.”

Either way Meyer now has another headache to deal with, and he hasn’t even come close to naming his final squad for the June tests.



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