Tom Wood suspended for three weeks for hit on Josh van der Flier

Northampton Saints player made contact with Leinster man’s head in clearout

Northampton Saints’ Tom Wood has been suspended for three weeks for a dangerous clearout on Leinster’s Josh van der Flier during last weekend’s Champions Cup clash.

In the closing minutes of the match – which Leinster won 35-19 – Wood was seen to charge in to a ruck and make contact with the Irish player’s head.

The French referee, Pierre Brousset, in tandem with his TMO Olly Hodges and his Irish assistants, did not deem the incident worthy of a yellow or, indeed, a red card, which many watching would have expected.

However, on Wednesday, the EPCR announced that Wood had breached Law 9.20(b) and would be unavilable to play for three weeks.


The committee said that they “upheld the citing complaint from the commissioner that Wood had made contact with Van der Flier’s neck and head area in a dangerous manner which warranted a red card.

“It then determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

“There were no aggravating factors and taking into account the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse, the committee reduced the sanction by one week before imposing a three week suspension.”