Clark “unintentionally” injured Hawkins according to disciplinary panel

The disciplinary panel at Calum Clark’s hearing last night described the action from Clark in hyperextending Rob Hawkins’ arm as “unintentional”, with the player not intending to injure Hawkins and and concluding that the “unfortunate injury” was not dealt out on purpose, contrary to the video evidence that has horrified fans across the globe. Northampton as a result are considering their options and could appeal the long ban due to the panel seeing the incident as accidental rather than vindictive.

Following his RFU hearing yesterday evening, Northampton Saints flanker Calum Clark has been banned for 32 weeks for hyperextending and consequently breaking the arm of Leicester Tigers hooker Rob Hawkins. He will be available to play again on November 2nd.

18 thoughts on “Clark “unintentionally” injured Hawkins according to disciplinary panel

  1. Nowhere near a big enough ban! This was a vindictive and spiteful attack! He’s lucky there’s not a criminal case brought against him!

    1. When you consider an amateur player recently got a 6 month jail sentence for punches (that did break a jaw) it still seems very unfair.

  2. I am not sure what his intentions were, but it is sickening to watch and I agree with the verdict.

  3. Not surprised, though personally think if Matt Stevens got 2 years for drug addiction, surely Clark should of had even longer.

  4. I’d like to know his reasons for doing it. What could he have possibly said to defend it?

    Not long enough for me, he misses summer tours, but will be back in November? Two more months perhaps.

  5. Had to double check if it was weeks or months, thought I misread it. Really did not expect a <12 month ban for that, thought he may get 12-24 and I would have not thought longer was unjust.

  6. Dont think I have ever seen something that made me feel sick on a rugby pitch, in the way that this incident did

  7. How on earth was this unintentional, when you plainly see him focusing on his arm, whilst wrenching in a direction nature did not intend it to be moved. Absolutely shocking.

    1. I’m baffled by the unintentional bit as well. If it was unintentional I would be fascinated to hear an explanation of what he was actually intending to do.

  8. What message are the RFU sending here?

    Rugby already suffers with a ‘brutal’ tarnish that turns potential youngsters away. How on earth are we supposed to say to parents that this is a disciplined game and the roughness is controlled, when incidents like this are dealt with so leniently.

    How on earth they came to the ‘mens rea’ that this was unintentional is beyond me.

  9. If it’s unintentional, what are they banning him for? Very bizarre thing to come out with.

    I don’t have a problem with the length of the ban. It was a horrendous thing and incredibly vindictive thing to do. Have never seen anyone deliberately try to break a someone’s bones in a match. He’s clearly got a screw loose and it’s a nasty injury. However spear tackles and eye gouging can potentially cause permanent, life-altering injuries. This caused a very nasty injury but given the length of bans for potentially causing more serious injuries I think it’s pretty proportional.

    Eye-gouging should be a year minimum and any judge who uses the word ‘mitigation’ in an instance of eye-gouging should be fired immediately. There can never be any mitigating circumstances which lead to that (unlike eg biting if the guy is fish-hooking you).

  10. Best to read the judgement before all making up your minds on this – my guess is that the hearing found that while Clark was guilty of a nasty piece of foul play in wrenching Hawkins’ arm (which merits the 32 week ban IMO), the actual injury was caused by the weight of Tom Wood falling (completely by accident I might add) on to the arm that had already been placed in a vulnerable position. Ban still totally justified as far as I’m concerned, but I guess that explains why they found there had not been an intent to cause serious injury.

    As a Saints fan, this whole incident concerns me as from reading posts here and elsewhere, it seems to have done some reputation damage to the club I have invested an awful lot of time and emotion in.

    It would be wise for all concerned in Northampton to drop quickly any thoughts of an appeal, issue some kind of statement from the player expressing his deep regret and apologies for the incident, and then let it go. Any further action should be taken within the club, away from the public eyes. Remember that he is currently indefinitely suspended by the club – perhaps if Hawkins’ injury lasts longer than his RFU ban, then the club ban could be extended at least till Hawkins is playing again?

  11. I like that Matt H. A player’s ban should be no shorter than the injury it caused and longer if necessary.

    But of course Clark was apparently not intending to injure him. Which returns us to the question of what he has been banned for.

  12. his head-butt in the u20 world cup v nz – also on youtube – and apparent lack of remorse afterwards is recent enough to count as evidence against. needs to keep his nose clean after nov 2 or he will be regarded as a liability

  13. Lucky bloke could of finished his career if it would of been up me it would have been.
    However somebody has decided to be lenient for reasons known to them not us.
    I hope Mr. Clark will realise how lucky he has been and come back a better player and person. The lad has issues he has 32 weeks to sort them out lets hope so.
    All the best Rob Howkins wish you a good recoverey.

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