Burns to miss European clashes after three-week ban for tip tackle
‘I couldn’t hold my son for long periods. I was so tired and would fatigue quickly’
Bath fly-half Freddie Burns has been given a three-week suspension following his red card on Saturday for a dangerous tackle on Worcester’s Josh Adams. It will rule him out of the opening two rounds of Bath’s European Champions Cup campaign
The 27-year-old was sent off on what was his first Bath start after upending Adams with a tip-tackle in the 63rd minute of the Aviva Premiership contest at the Recreation Ground, which the hosts won 29-13.
Burns appeared before a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel yesterday evening. In a subsequent statement from the RFU, the panel’s chairman Gareth Graham said: “The panel heard evidence from the
Cup for Ulster against Wasps in the tournament opener in Belfast on Friday night. “I probably didn’t expect the enormity of their support. Everyone has reached out and encouraged me and sort of called me an inspiration, which I find hard to accept. That part is really humbling and makes me be grateful and enjoy it a lot more.
“I have probably found it a bit hard to know that there are people out there who are going through similar things and families that don’t have the same outcomes. [But] where I can inspire them to have hope and give them strength is something I am pretty proud of.”
It is impossible not to draw inspiration from Leali’ifano’s story, a remarkable journey of resilience that culminated with his decision to join Ulster on a short-term contract in August, which gave him the chance to rebuild his life in a new environment and culture before he returns to the Brumbies in February. He lost two stone in player as to the tackle and concluded that this was a reckless tackle that had, by the player’s own admission, ‘gone wrong’ as opposed to an intentional act of foul play.
“Given that there was no injury to the Worcester player, the panel found it was a low-end entry point.
“The player accepted the charge in full, apologised immediately onfield and to the Worcester player post-match and has a clear disciplinary record. Therefore the panel gave full mitigation reducing the sanction to three weeks”.
Burns will be available to play again from Oct 31. Apart from missing the European matches, he will also sit out the clash with former club Gloucester on Oct 29.