Bryce Heem: Worcester winger has tip tackle ban upheld by independent panel

Bryce Heem
Bryce Heem has scored 32 tries in 70 games for Worcester

Winger Bryce Heem has played his final game for Worcester Warriors after a four-week suspension for a tip tackle was upheld following an appeal.

The 30-year-old New Zealander was initially banned by the judiciary for the challenge on Sale's Paolo Odogwu in their Premiership victory on 13 April.

The appeal decision means his time at Sixways is over as he has opted against a new deal beyond the 2018-19 season.

He will depart the Warriors having scored 32 tries in 70 appearances.

French Top14 side Toulon is the expected destination for the Auckland-born winger.

"The player accepted before the appeal panel that there was an act of foul play and that it warranted a yellow card," panel chair Gareth Graham said.

"This represented a change of stance from that adopted at the original hearing when the question as to whether the player's action amounted to an act of foul play was challenged.

"We concluded that the tackle did pass the red card threshold. This conclusion was based on the overall circumstances of the tackle, including that the player lifted Paolo Odogwu beyond the horizontal and dropped him on his shoulder. In the appeal panel's assessment, this was a tip tackle where the nature of the landing was potentially very dangerous to the tackled player and thus a red card was justified in the circumstances.

"There was no appeal against the sanction (of a four-week ban) to be applied to the player if the appeal panel concluded that the red card threshold was passed. The appeal is therefore dismissed and the original sanction remains in place."

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