Gloucester Rugby: Evidence of gouging 'not found'
EUROPEAN rugby chiefs have failed to find enough evidence to cite any Mont de Marsan players despite Gloucester's allegations of eye gouging against the French club.
Andy Hazell will face a disciplinary hearing on Thursday week, where he will learn his fate after being sent off in last week's ill-tempered Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Mont de Marsan.
Gloucester submitted photographic evidence of damage to Hazell's eye, and early indications from European disciplinary bosses were that the video footage from the match would lead to a citing.
But that has all come to nought, leaving Hazell's mitigation potentially tricky.
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Gloucester and the openside flanker have both previously admitted they will accept whatever punishment is forthcoming.
But had a Mont de Marsan player also been in the dock for the unsavoury charge of eye gouging, then Hazell may have had a chance at reducing his near-inevitable ban slightly.
Now that has been ruled out, the 34-year-old could face the full wrath of the ERC disciplinary panel, and therefore could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.