Neutral judges for Magners League
Magners League organisers have confirmed the belated introduction of neutral judges for disciplinary matters, ending the long-standing farce where unions sat in judgment of their own players.
The competition's disciplinary structures will now operate in a more transparent fashion, mirroring that of the Heineken Cup and the Six Nations competitions.
Two men with long-standing experience within the Six Nations will oversee the new regime. David Martin of Ireland will become the first independent disciplinary chairman, with Jon Davis as disciplinary officer.
"In the past, when disciplinary cases were handled by the union of a player involved in a disciplinary action, there has been a view or a perception that a union may treat one of its own more favourably than otherwise would be the case if handled independently," said a Magners League statement.
"There is in fact no evidence of this but Celtic Rugby recognises that union-managed disciplinary processes can be perceived that way.
"There is also a further belief that this localised process meant that some union disciplinary processes had differing views on the level of sanction that could be applied.
"Having a centralised and independent process will mean that there will be greater consistency in how Magners League disciplinary cases are conducted in the future. Above all it is an independent process and this will bring greater credibility to the Magners League tournament."