Harlequins full-back Mike Brown faces the possibility of not playing for the club again after he was banned for six weeks for his stamping incident involving Wasps hooker Tommy Taylor on Sunday.
The former England international was dismissed in the 44th minute of the match by referee Wayne Barnes for the offence of ‘stamping or trampling, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.12’, as Marcus Smith starred in front of onlooking Eddie Jones to help Quins win 48-46 in a thriller.
Brown accepted the charge and was given a six-week suspension by the independent disciplinary panel (Matthew Weaver, chair with Rob Vickerman and Mitch Read), with his Harlequins career now likely over.
Whether Brown will play again for the club he has represented over 350 times, the most by any player, will be fully confirmed once the Premiership confirms the semi-final schedule. But he will miss the rest of the regular season matches against Leicester, Bath, Sale and Newcastle.
A statement by the panel after reducing the entry level for the charge from 12 weeks to six, reads: “The Panel reviewed extensive video footage which included numerous angles and speeds and heard direct evidence from the player as to his actions and intentions. Having considered the totality of the evidence the Panel was satisfied that whilst this was a stamp to the head, it was not deliberate.
“Given the location of the contact and the nature of the actions the Panel considered that this was a top-end entry point but that there was no reason to go above the starting point of 12 weeks.
“The player has an unblemished disciplinary record over a long and illustrious career, he accepted the charge at the earliest opportunity and impressed the Panel with his honesty and obvious contrition throughout the hearing. The Panel had no hesitation in allowing the maximum mitigation of 50%.
“The Panel would encourage supporters of the game to avoid viewing this as nothing more than a brief video on social media which does not capture the full nature of the incident.”