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Manu to miss four weeks with ban

Manu Tuilagi has been banned for four weeks following his red card in England’s win over Wales.

Leicester Tigers centre Tuilagi received a red card for an infringement of Law 9.16 (dangerous charge) after a tackle on Wales wing George North and appeared before an independent disciplinary committee in Dublin on Thursday.

Tuilagi accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but did not accept that it warranted a red card.

The committee, which comprised David Hurley (Ireland), Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Sarah Smith (Scotland), heard evidence and submissions from Tuilagi and his legal counsel, Richard Smith QC, as well as from Six Nations’ legal representative.

It was determined that Tuilagi had committed an act of foul play and that it had warranted a red card. The committee found that the foul play warranted a mid-range entry point (six weeks’ suspension) and reduced that by two weeks to take account of mitigating factors, including good conduct and immediate remorse. 

Tuilagi is suspended for four weeks and, given his playing schedule, is free to resume playing on April 14. He was reminded of his right of appeal.

Also at Thursday’s hearing, England prop forward Joe Marler was found to have committed an act of foul play (Law 9.27) against a Welsh player. He accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, albeit that he did not accept that he had grabbed, twisted or squeezed the genitals of Alun Wyn Jones and he did not accept that it warranted a red card.

The committee found that the act warranted a red card and a low-end entry point (12 weeks’ suspension). They reduced that by three weeks to take account of mitigating factors (including good character and remorse) but increased it by one week to take account of his most recent disciplinary record. Marler is suspended for 10 weeks and free to resume playing on June 8. He was reminded of his right of appeal.

Courtney Lawes had been the subject of a citing complaint which alleged that he had infringed Law 9.13 (dangerous tackling) but the committee found it did not warrant a red card. The complaint was not upheld and Lawes is free to resume playing.