Ma'afu banned for Challenge Cup final
May 21, 2014
Northampton's Salesi Ma'afu lands a left-hook on Leicester's Tom Youngs © Getty Images
Northampton will be without Salesi Ma'afu for Friday's Amlin Challenge Cup final after the prop was handed a one-week ban for punching Leicester's Tom Youngs during the Aviva Premiership semi-final.
But the news is not all bad for the Saints as Ma'afu will be free to play in the Aviva Premiership final against Saracens on May 31.
Ma'afu was sent off in Northampton's fiery 21-20 win over rivals Leicester on Friday after striking England hooker Tom Youngs with a flurry of punches. As well as receiving a one-week ban, the Australian was also ordered to pay £500 in costs.
Northampton face Bath at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday in the last ever Amlin Challenge Cup before it is replaced in the new European cup structure to be introduced next season.
Leicester fly-half Owen Williams could yet face punishment for making contact with the eyes or eye area of Northampton's Luther Burrell in the same match. However he must wait to discover his fate after his hearing was adjourned.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown