FRASER Brown is free to play for Scotland against Italy on Saturday after a Six Nations disciplinary committee decided the hooker should receive no further punishment for his yellow-card offence against England four days ago. Brown could have been suspended if the panel had agreed with the citing commissioner that the late tackle for which he was sin-binned was a red-card offence.

The Glasgow Warriors player accepted at the hearing in London that he had been guilty of foul play but argued that the tackle on England winger Elliot Daly was not a sending-off offence, and the three-man committee concurred.

“The disciplinary committee, chaired by Jean-Philippe Lachaume (France),alongside Rhian Williams (Wales) and David Martin (Ireland), having reviewed footage of the incident and all other evidence, as well as hearing submissions and testimony from the player and his representatives, considered the tackle to have been dangerous, and therefore contrary to Law 10.4(e),” the Six Nations Championship authorities announced yesterday afternoon.

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“The disciplinary committee, however, found that the act of foul play would have not have warranted a red card, and so the citing complaint was not upheld and no sanction was imposed. (The Disciplinary Committee also considered whether or not the player, in carrying out the tackle, had infringed Law 10.4(j), but found that not all of the necessary elements for foul play under that law had been present).

“The player is therefore able to resume playing immediately. All parties were reminded of their right to appeal.”

Law 10.4(e) says simply that “a player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously”. Law 10.4(j) defines dangerous tackling: “Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.”

If selected against Italy, Brown will be winning his 25th cap. He has started all four of Scotland’s matches so far in this year’s Championship.

Scotland skipper John Barclay believes the three-man panel made the right decision.

“These decisions are very easy to make when you’ve got however many frames a second,” he said. “Fraser doesn’t have that opportunity – he’s got to make a split-second decision.

“But he’s not a dirty player, he would never go out to hurt an opponent. With the laws as they are to protect players, though, he is disappointed in himself.”