England and London Irish centre Shontayne Hape has received a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle on Edinburgh back-row David Denton, made during the Heineken Cup Round 1 match between London Irish and Edinburgh at the Madjeski Stadium last Saturday.
Hape attended the disciplinary hearing yesterday after being cited by French commissioner, Yves Thieffine in accordance to Law 10.4 (e) – “Dangerous tackling of an opponent including a tackle or an attempted tackle above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.”
Judicial officer Robert Williams considered all evidence, including testaments from London Irish Director of Rugby Toby Booth and Team Manager Kieran McCarthy, and determined the tackle to be a mid-range offence, which has an entry point of a six-week suspension.
“When considering aggravating factors, the Judicial Officer added one week.” Said the ERC. “Having then taken into account mitigating factors, including the player’s guilty plea, clean record and clear remorse, the Judicial Officer reduced the period of suspension by 50 per cent of four weeks.”
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Hape will be available to play on Thursday, 15 December 2011, meaning he will miss both Heineken cup fixtures against Cardiff Blues and Racing Metro, plus Aviva Premiership games against London Wasps and Saracens.
Both parties, ERC and the player, have the right to appeal the decision.