Mike Brown's Harlequins career could well be over after the news that the veteran fullback has been handed a six-week suspension.
The fullback is set to join Newcastle Falcons next season having spent his entire professional career at Harlequins. Brown's suspension would include the Premiership final if Quins are to reach the showpiece of the event.
Brown was shown a red card by referee Wayne Barnes in the 44th minute of the match between Harlequins and Wasps on Sunday 9 May 2021. This was for stamping or trampling, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.12.
England’s most-capped fullback had never been red-carded in a record-breaking 351-match career for the Londoners.
He also accepted the charge and was given a six-week suspension by the independent disciplinary panel (Matthew Weaver, chair with Rob Vickerman and Mitch Read). Brown's free to play date will be determined once the club's fixture list is finalised.
Independent disciplinary panel statement - Mike Brown hearing: “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.”
There is a right to appeal each of the decisions.
Mike Brown misses the following Premiership Rugby matches:
- 15 May: Leicester Tigers v Harlequins
- 29 May: Harlequins v Bath Rugby
- 4 June: Sale Sharks v Harlequins
- 12 June: Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons
- Plus two additional fixtures to be confirmed once the schedule is known.