Brits banned for Farrell punch
Tom Hamilton in Hong Kong
June 2, 2013
Schalk Brits is sent to the cooler © PA Photos
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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9