Eye-gouge outrages England international

Matt Lewis Profile
by AFP & Matt Lewis

England player James Haskell says Brive flyhalf Matthieu Ugalde should have been “banned for life”, after receiving a 14-week suspension  for eye-gouging.

Ugalde has the right to appeal, but if his 14-week ban remains, won’t be free to play until January 2, 2017.

His offence occurred in a during a match on September 11 between Brive and Grenoble, with three players also red carded after an all-in brawl.

Grenoble's Nigel Hunt, Henry Vanderglas, Sona Taumalolo and Charl McLeod were all suspended for between one and three weeks along with Brive's Damien Jourdain, Benjamin Lapeyre and Arnaud Mignardi.

Grenoble and Brive were both fined 20,000 euros ($AUD29,303) following the brawl.

Former England player, now media personality Andy Goode suggested the ban should have been harsher, tweeting that Ugalde should have received “14 years” for the incident.

“Ugalde only gets 14 weeks for this in France, should be 14 years,” he posted.

England backrower Haskell responded to Goode’s tweet, writing, “couldn’t agree more! Banned for life”

Ugalde’s is one of a handful of alleged eye-gouging incidents this year but his length ban is in stark contrast to All Blacks prop Owen Franks non-citing after he looked to come in contact with the eyes of Wallabies lock Kane Douglas.

Former England winger Chris Ashton was also slapped with a 13-week suspension this week over a biting charge, seven months after a 10-week layoff for eye-gouging.