Marcell Coetzee Bulls URC

Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee. Photo: URC website.

URC slaps Springbok with hefty suspension

The URC has imposed a hefty sanction on a 31-Test cap Springbok veteran, who plays for the Bulls in the cross-hemisphere competition.

Marcell Coetzee Bulls URC

Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee. Photo: URC website.

Springbok loose forward Marcell Coetzee has been slapped with a lengthy ban in the United Rugby Championship (URC) for foul play.

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Coetzee was red carded for making shoulder-on-head contact with prop Pierre Schoeman during the Vodacom URC round 5 match at the Hive Stadium.

Referee Chris Busby ejected the Bulls co-captain in the 42nd minute, citing Law 9.13 – a prohibition on dangerous tackles above the shoulders.

Coetzee acknowledged the foul play but contested the red card’s necessity. The independent disciplinary committee, led by Ben Rutherford, Donal Courtney, and Jan Gedrych, considered evidence against the High Contact Process.

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Despite Coetzee’s exemplary disciplinary record, the committee upheld the red card, imposing a three-week suspension. Completion of the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme could reduce the sanction by one game.

As it stands, the loose forward is unavailable for the Bulls’ URC clash with Connacht in Pretoria on Saturday as well as next week’s derby against Sharks and their Champions Cup opener against Saracens (9 December).

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Bulls URC
Bulls players Marcell Coetzee, Nizaam Carr, Stravino Jacobs and Embrose Papier. Photo: @BullsRugby via X.