The Scotland fly-half was sent off against France

Finn Russell banned for three weeks

Finn Russell has been banned for three weeks following his red card in Scotland’s Six Nations victory over France on Friday night.

The Scotland fly-half was sent off in the 71st minute after leading with the forearm into a tackle and making contact with France full-back Brice Dulin’s neck.

He appeared before an independent disciplinary committee for infringing Law 9.12 (A player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, biting, punching, contact with the eye or eye area, striking with any part of the arm (including stiff-arm tackles), shoulder, head or knee(s), stamping, trampling, tripping or kicking).

Russell accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and that a red card was warranted, but he suggested that it was an infringement of Law 9.24 (A ball-carrier is permitted to hand off an opponent provided excessive force is not used) rather than a strike on Dulin.

However, the disciplinary committee felt the original categorisation (Law 9.12) was correct and determined the incident as mid-range, which has an entry point of six weeks.

Given Russell’s acceptance of his actions, his previous disciplinary record and his remorse, the maximum 50% mitigation was applied so he is banned for three weeks.

He will miss Racing 92’s Champions Cup round of 16 tie against Edinburgh on Sunday and, depending on that result, either their quarter-final and their next Top 14 match or their next two Top 14 matches. So the suspension will run until either 18 April 2021 or 25 April 2021.

Russell was the fifth player sent off in this year’s Six Nations, with Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony and Bundee Aki, Scotland’s Zander Fagerson and France’s Paul Willemse also red-carded during the championship. The five red cards were as many as in the last 14 Six Nations combined.

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