New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew has called for the international judicial process to be sped up after All Blacks flanker Adam Thomson had his one-week ban doubled to two weeks on Saturday (NZT).
Tew was "pleased" with the outcome of an appeal committee hearing which deemed Thomson's initial ban of two weeks for stamping during the Test win over Scotland at Edinburgh on November 11 was correct.
That sanction was halved at the judicial hearing last week because of Thomson's conduct and clean record.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) subsequently invoked its right to appeal a hearing outcome, believing Thomson's ban to be an "unduly lenient sanction" for the incident in which the 30-year-old's boot made contact with the head of Scottish flanker Alasdair Strokosch.
A three-man appeal committee ruled the reduction for good behaviour wasn't applicable under the IRB's Regulation 17, restoring the ban to two weeks.
"We're pleased with the outcome. The appeal process was well run, Adam's now free and ready to play next weekend," Tew told reporters.
Tew said it was unfortunate Thomson's case had dragged on so long and said the appeal process wasn't efficient enough.
"We need to sit back as a sport and work out how we can speed the process up," he said.
"Six days to wait for a written decision before the IRB could even decide if an appeal was warranted is too long."
The ban extension has had no tangible impact on Thomson as the second week of his sanction would have ruled him out of the Test against Wales at Cardiff on Sunday morning (NZT), a match for which he wasn't selected anyway.
He was pleased to still be available for the final match of the tour against England at Twickenham next week."It's disappointing to be dragged out over such a long period. You come over here to play... but it's past me now and it's on with the rugby," he said.