Brennan hearing postponed
January 31, 2007
Trevor Brennan's European Rugby Cup disciplinary hearing has been adjourned after he was granted a temporary High Court injunction.
Brennan, the former Ireland lock, was due to face the independent disciplinary panel in Dublin tomorrow.
The 33-year-old was charged under Heineken Cup rules with allegedly assaulting Ulster supporter Patrick Bamford during Toulouse's victory at the Stade Ernest Wallon on January 21.
However, Brennan's Toulouse team-mate Gareth Thomas will still have his disciplinary case heard tomorrow morning.
The Welsh international is charged with engaging in ``aggressive'' and ``offensive'' behaviour towards supporters during the same controversial Heineken Cup match.
Brennan's legal team secured a 24-hour injunction - which expires at 2pm tomorrow - at Dublin's High Court. The case is due to be mentioned in court again tomorrow.
The ERC tonight issued a statement confirming Brennan's hearing had been delayed but that Thomas will still be expected to appear in Dublin.
A spokesman said: ``The independent disciplinary committee hearing, scheduled to hear the misconduct complaint against Trevor Brennan in Dublin tomorrow, has been postponed following an application by the player's representatives for an injunction to delay the hearing.
``The player was due to answer a misconduct complaint arising from the Round Six Heineken Cup Pool Five match against Ulster at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday, January 21.
``The independent Disciplinary Committee hearing involving Toulouse player Gareth Thomas remains scheduled for tomorrow in Dublin.''
Brennan was charged under Heineken Cup regulations with climbing into a stand and landing a number of punches on Bamford, a 25-year-old accountant who subsequently required medical treatment.
Brennan later claimed in a statement he had been provoked by derogatory chants about his mother.
He said: ``When I was warming up, I heard a group of supporters sing: 'Brennan, your mother is a whore'.
``One of them looked me in the eyes, and again started to sing 'Brennan, your mother...'.
``I then climbed the wall and had an altercation with this person.
``I regret this incident. But I didn't initiate it. That is the last thing I wished to do.
``I love rugby, I love Toulouse and the supporters, but I love my family and my mother more than all that.''
Toulouse launched a robust defence of Brennan, describing him as a ``generous man who has always respected opponents and their supporters``.
The French club added: ``It required sustained and repeated provocation to make him react in an unacceptable but understandably human way.''
But Bamford categorically denied abusing Brennan's mother and maintains he was poking fun at the bar the player runs in Toulouse, which had been full of Ulster supporters all weekend.
``I categorically deny that at any point that I or anyone sitting around me was involved in sectarian abuse or in abuse of Mr Brennan about his mother,'' Bamford said in a statement.
``This recollection of events has been supported by witness statements taken at the time.''