Rival centres face lengthy term on sideline

Two players face up to 16 weeks each on the sideline when the Illawarra District Rugby Union judiciary meets on Wednesday night.

Woonona centre Aaron Warren and Camden's Lee Russell were both shown red cards after a wild brawl erupted in the second half of their season-opener at Camden on Saturday.

Camden won 38-0 but Russell and Warren were sent off amid claims of head-butting in the spiteful clash.

In his post-match citing report referee James Penman graded both charges at the "top end" of the Australian Rugby Union's three-tier (lower-end, mid-range and top-end) grading scale.

Under ARU guidelines a top-end charge of striking with the head carries a suspension of 16 weeks or more, leaving both players sidelined if found guilty.

If either player is found guilty of the lesser charge of striking with the hand or fist, the high grading would require a minimum eight-week suspension.

Warren is alleged to have started the melee and has been charged with striking.

Star goal-kicking centre Russell has also been charged with retaliation and striking and - with the top end grading - faces between eight and 16 weeks on the sideline.


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