Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees has been suspended for seven weeks for stamping on an opponent during a Challenge Cup clash.
Rees appeared at an independent disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday after he committed the foul in the Round Two match against Harlequins at Cardiff Arms Park on Thursday, 19 November.
He was sent off by referee, Alexandre Ruiz (France), in the 73rd minute of the match for stamping on the Harlequins number eight Nick Easter, in contravention of Law 10.4 (b).
Law 10.4 (b) Stamping/Trampling on an Opponent
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (b), Stamping/Trampling on an Opponent, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-Range: 5 weeks; Top End: 9 to 52 weeks.
The independent Judicial Officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Rees, who accepted he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card, from the Cardiff Blues Team Manager, Gafyn Cooper, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
In upholding the red card decision, the Judicial Officer found that Rees had stamped on Nick Easter and determined that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.
He then reduced the sanction by five weeks taking into account Rees's guilty plea, timely expression of remorse to Easter and his clean disciplinary record, before imposing a suspension of seven weeks.
Rees is free to play on Monday, 11 January 2016. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.