28 Jun 2009

Italian captain suspended for eight weeks for eye gouging

6:19 pm on 28 June 2009

The Italian number eight and captain Sergio Parisse has been suspended for eight weeks, for eye gouging All Blacks lock Isaac Ross in last night's test loss in Christchurch.

Parisse appeared before International Rugby Board judicial officer Paul Tully in Christchurch today.

Tully found that while the action was reckless it wasn't intentional and there was no injury to Ross' eye, with the initial contact by being with the cheek and then slipping into the eye.

Tully noted that Parisse has played 65 Test matches, including 18 as captain, and hasn't previously received a yellow or red card in any of those matches.

As Parisse is now in off-season, the suspension will begin in early August at the start of the Italian club season.