England Under-20s full-back Freddie Steward has been banned for four weeks after attending a Six Nations disciplinary hearing.
Leicester Tigers academy graduate Steward appeared before an independent disciplinary committee in London on Tuesday and was given a four-week suspension.
He had been the subject of a citing complaint by the independent citing commissioner, Tim Lowry, following the match against Wales at Kingsholm Stadium on Friday. The complaint alleged that Steward had infringed Laws 9.11 (reckless or dangerous acts) and 9.17 (tackling in the air) when he collided with the Wales full-back Jacob Beetham in the 55th minute of the match.
Steward accepted that he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card.
The disciplinary committee, which comprised David Martin (Ireland), Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Donal Courtney (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Steward and legal counsel Richard Smith QC as well as from the Six Nations’ legal representative. The disciplinary committee found that he had committed an act of foul play (an infringement of Law 9.17) and that it had warranted a red card, so the citing complaint was upheld.
The committee found that the act of foul play warranted a mid-range entry point (eight weeks’ suspension) and reduced that by four weeks to take account of mitigating factors including good character, guilty plea and remorse.
Steward is suspended for four weeks and, given his playing schedule, including with Loughborough University in BUCS Super Rugby, is free to resume playing on April 9. He has a right of appeal.