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British & Irish Lions 59-8 Barbarians, Hong Kong
Brits banned for Farrell punch
Tom Hamilton in Hong Kong
June 2, 2013
Barbarians hooker Schalk Brits is shown a yellow card, British & Irish Lions v Barbarians, Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, June 1, 2013
Schalk Brits is sent to the cooler © PA Photos
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Barbarians hooker Schalk Brits has been hit with a three-week suspension after striking British & Irish Lions fly-half Owen Farrell in Saturday's match in Hong Kong.

The suspension could see Brits miss out on the opening three matches of Saracens' 2013-14 Aviva Premiership season. The incident occurred early in the first-half of yesterday's match in Hong Kong and Brits was cited by International Rugby Board citing commissioner Simon Ryan after hitting his Sarries team-mate Farrell with his arm.

Brits was handed a yellow card at the time and he could yet be free to play for Sarries at the start of next season if the panel allow their pre-season fixtures to be taken into account. But it could have been worse for Brits with IRB judicial officer Steve Lewis deciding Brits' offence warranted a five-week suspension, but this was reduced to three due to "compelling mitigating factors."

"The IRB's sanctions for foul play have been established on the basis that a one-week period of suspension would normally result in a player missing one match," the statement read.

"Consequently, he is suspended from all rugby up to and including the third Aviva Premiership match of the 2013-14 season, unless the judicial officer confirms in writing that any pre-season match shall be considered meaningful for the purpose of regulation 17.19.11 (d), in which case such match shall be included as one of the three matches."

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