Aviva Premiership
Hamilton and Paice set to face judiciary
ESPNscrum Staff
May 6, 2012
Gloucester and London Irish come to blows, London Irish v Gloucester, Aviva Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, May 5, 2012
Gloucester and London Irish come to blows during a bad-tempered clash at the Madejski Stadium © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Jim Hamilton | David Paice
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Gloucester's Jim Hamilton and London Irish's David Paice will face an RFU disciplinary hearing on Thursday following their red cards during a bad-tempered Aviva Premiership clash at the Madejski Stadium.

The Exiles ran in six tries on their way to a 52-18 victory in a largely meaningless game but the clash will be best remembered for the huge brawl that saw lock Hamilton and hooker Paice dismissed.

The pair had already been sin-binned for exchanging punches by referee Dave Pearson, but when they elected to hold round two of their bout on the way to the touchline it sparked a mass confrontation and they were both shown red.

London Irish's director of rugby Brian Smith was in no doubt that the blame for the ugly scenes lay with Hamilton, and revealed that Paice had required a dozen stitches in a cut to his head. Smith said: "What happened was there was an off-the-ball incident where Jim Hamilton pushed David Paice in the back and knocked him to the ground. When you are not expecting to be pushed in the back you get a whiplash-type effect.

"It's not on, he instigated it. David Paice went to the next ruck and cleaned Jim Hamilton out off the ball, and Jim Hamilton started throwing punches from that ruck.

"Jim Hamilton was the instigator and then when they were both yellow carded Hamilton has punched David Paice twice in the head and split him open and he has a dozen stitches in his forehead, and the all-in started from there.

"Jim Hamilton has got a lot to answer for, it's not the 1970s. It was very disappointing, it was a blight on the game. Jim Hamilton was the instigator and we have David Paice possibly with concussion and a dozen stitches in his head.

"As a captain of the Gloucester team Jim Hamilton's behaviour was unacceptable. He is a Test player but I would be surprised if he plays any Test footy this summer, because it was a disgrace what he did today."

The hearing will take place at Twickenham Stadium and the disciplinary panel will be chaired by Judge Jeff Blackett.

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