5 Mar 2012

Melbourne to appeal Byrne's 10-week ban

5:55 am on 5 March 2012

The Melbourne Rebels will be appealing against SANZAR's decision to ban their lock Adam Byrnes for 10 weeks following an ege-gouging complaint by the New South Wales Waratahs from their match in Melbourne on Friday night.

Byrnes, who played for Russia at last year's World Cup, was cited after an on-the-field complaint by the Waratahs skipper Daniel Halangahu on behalf of his centre Tom Carter.

After a four-and-a-half hour deliberation yesterday, the judicial officer ruled that there was sufficient evidence to support that contact had been made by Byrnes with Carter's right eye and bridge of the nose.

But the Rebels made it clear after the inquiry there was no suggestion that Byrnes had engaged in any eye gouging, and they maintain any contact made was absolutely accidental and without intent.