Blues challenge lengthy Earle ban

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Cardiff Blues have lodged an appeal against George Earle's eight-week ban for making contact with the eye area of Bath flanker Tom Ellis during a European Challenge Cup defeat this month.

The second row was shown a red card by referee Alexandre Ruiz for an incident early in the second half of Bath's resounding 38-3 victory at The Rec.

Blues head coach Danny Wilson was adamant that Earle accidently made contact with Earle around the eye, but he was last week suspended until February 13 by an independent disciplinary committee.

Pro12 club Cardiff have now opted to challenge that punishment.

"Having sat down with Danny Wilson and the rugby management and taken advice, we think we have got a strong case." said Blues chief executive Richard Holland 

"We would never condone foul play, but in this instance we feel an accidental act has been punished too severely.

"New guidelines over sanctions for such incidents are coming into force from January 3 and we are hopeful that with a new hearing George's sentence will be reduced, enabling him to get back on the field at an earlier date.

"We respect the disciplinary process, but feel we need to challenge this particular punishment. We feel it isn't in proportion with similar incidents and other sanctions."