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Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 16:06 UK

Quinnell wants minimum gouge ban

Scott Quinnell
Quinnell says he had laser surgery after being gouged during his career

Scott Quinnell has called for players who gouge opponents' eyes to face "a minimum" six-month ban.

Quinnell's comments came amid the furore created by Schalk Burger's eight-week ban for gouging Lion Luke Fitzgerald's eyes in the second Test.

Quinnell revealed he had laser surgery after being gouged during his career.

"There are so many cameras out there now I don't understand why players think they can get away with it," said the ex-Wales and Lions star.

"[Bans for gouging should be for] A minimum six months and obviously you can look at it further from there."

606: DEBATE
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Quinnell also condemned the comments of Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, who initially defended Burger's actions before back-tracking amid an apology from his employers, the South African Rugby Union.

"I wouldn't play under a coach like that," Quinnell told BBC Sport Wales. "If somebody condones that, it's not the coach for me."

Speaking of his own experiences during a glittering career, Quinnell added: "I had it [being gouged] done a couple of times.

"I had laser surgery done after one thumb in my eye and a couple of times playing in France.

"But it's one of those things, when it happens to you I don't suppose you can believe it's actually happened.

"I was lucky, it just took a bit of laser surgery to put it right. But it could have been so much worse."

The former Llanelli man, who also represented Wigan, Wales and Great Britain at rugby league, is also disappointed a player of Burger's standing acted as he did.

who says in years to come if somebody sticks their fingers in somebody's eye they don't lose their sight?

Scott Quinnell

"It just can't be a part of the game. It's one of those instances… I never ever felt myself wanting to stick my hands in somebody else's eyes," said Quinnell.

"I don't understand it, I don't like it. He's [Burger] a quality player.

"He's a world class back-row forward and should let his talking be done when he's playing a game and for me it should have been a longer ban and what we've got to do now is make sure it never happens again.

"It's one of those situations where we were lucky this time. Luke Fitzgerald can see and who says in years to come if somebody sticks their fingers in somebody's eye they don't lose their sight?

"And nothing's worth that."



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see also
Burger denies being 'rugby thug'
03 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions Test debuts for English duo
02 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
Gouging penalties to be reviewed
02 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
Smit worried by Botha precedent
03 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll criticises De Villiers
30 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Boks coach backs down over Burger
29 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
SA's Burger handed eight-week ban
29 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Burger 'gouge' angers Fitzgerald
27 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
South Africa 28-25 Lions
27 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union


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