Hanks citing dismissed
Exeter forward James Hanks has been cleared of deliberately eye-gouging Saracens lock Steve Borthwick by a RFU disciplinary panel.
Hanks was cited with allegedly making contact with Borthwick's eye or eye area during Exeter's 14-12 victory at Sandy Park on Sunday.
The RFU panel, chaired by chief disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett, tonight concluded that the contact had been accidental and the citing was dismissed.
Blackett, who was joined on the panel by Nick Dark and Mike Curling, said in a statement: "The panel concluded that James Hanks' finger did make contact with Steve Borthwick's eye.
"However, the contact occurred in a dynamic situation during a ruck, when James Hanks was driving forward and putting his hand down to prevent him from falling over.
"The contact was entirely accidental."
The RFU panel also cleared Bath centre Dan Hipkiss of an alleged tip tackle on London Irish forward Jamie Gibson.
And Bath scrum-half Michael Claassens was found not guilty of kicking Matt Garvey in the same Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium.
Blackett explained: "On review of the DVD the panel determined that Dan Hipkiss did not drop or drive Jamie Gibson's head and/or upper body into the ground.
"Dan Hipkiss tackled Jamie Gibson such that he landed on his back, so that the elements of law 10.4.J were not made out.
"The panel determined that the contact between Michael Claassens and Matt Garvey was a clumsy collision.
"Michael Claassens' movements were defensive and he made contact with knee and arms.
"He did not kick Matt Garvey. In the circumstances, an offence under 10.4.C is not made out."