Eight-week ban for Francis

Date published: March 15 2016

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Tomas Francis, the Wales prop, has been suspended for eight weeks for making contact with the eyes of Dan Cole.

Francis appeared on Wednesday before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee in London, having been cited by an independent citing commissioner for allegedly making contact with the eye or eye area of an opponent in the Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, March 12.

The disciplinary committee, chaired by Pat Barriscale (Ireland) along with Jean-Philippe Lachaume (France) and George Spotswood (Ireland), having considered all of the evidence, including various clips of TV footage, and listened to representations by, and on behalf, of Francis, found that he had recklessly made contact with the eye or eye area of an opponent, which had been worthy of a red card.

The disciplinary committee heard submissions on sanction before concluding that the offending be characterised as being at the lower end of World Rugby's scale of seriousness for this type of offending, which has an entry point of 12 weeks.

The disciplinary committee was then required to consider aggravating and mitigating factors, which it did before concluding that the appropriate sanction be a playing suspension of eight weeks.

Francis is free to play again on Monday, May 9. He was reminded of his right of appeal.  

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