Beckett was given a red card in the game against Italy

England number eight Sarah Beckett has been given a three-match ban after she received a red card in the team’s Women’s Six Nations opener against Italy.

Beckett was initially given a yellow card for a crocodile roll on Michela Sillari but it was sent to bunker review. It was then upgraded to a red card.

Read more: Will England win W6N again?

It has since been revealed that Sillari broke her leg from the tackle and will now miss the rest of the tournament. Beckett’s ban means she will miss England’s matches against Wales, Scotland and Ireland. She will next be available for England’s trip to France in the last round of the tournament.

The disciplinary committee said the incident had warranted a six-week ban. However, Beckett’s “remorse, good character and exemplary conduct at the hearing” reduced it to three.

The committee said: “The player admitted that she had committed an act of foul play but contended that it had not been worthy of a red card.”

Beckett’s red card meant England had to play for 70 minutes with 14 players. Italy’s defence held strong at first with the first Red Roses try coming in the 31st minute through Hannah Botterman. However, England pulled away in the second half to win 48-0.

The win has seen England top the table on point difference, with France in second after also securing a bonus-point win in the opening round. The Red Roses are targeting their sixth consecutive Women’s Six Nations title and they are the favourites to win it.

England are doing so under new management with John Mitchell taking over from Simon Middleton. Middleton stood down at the end of the last Women’s Six Nations.

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