Ellis Genge: England and Bristol prop’s season over after ban for dangerous tackle

Colin Newboult

2PH19H8 Bristol Bears' Ellis Genge during the Gallagher Premiership match at the Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Saturday March 25, 2023.

Bristol Bears will be without Ellis Genge for their final two Premiership matches of the season after the prop was banned for three weeks.

The Red Rose star was only yellow carded by referee Luke Pearce during Bristol’s 36-20 defeat to Sale Sharks on Friday.

He was subsequently cited and suspended for the incident, which saw his shoulder connect with the head of fellow England international Tom Curry.

Genge will duly miss the rest of the Bears’ campaign as they face Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester looking to secure a place in next season’s Champions Cup.

Tackle school

Although he’s undertaking a coaching intervention course, which will reduce the ban from three to two games, he won’t be back out on the field until England’s Rugby World Cup warm-up encounters.

Panel chair Matthew Weaver KC said: “Ellis Genge accepted the charge of dangerously tackling Tom Curry, contrary to World Rugby law 9.13, prior to the hearing and, as such, the panel needed to consider only the appropriate sanction.

“Having considered the incident, including viewing footage of it both in real time and in slow motion, and it being confirmed that Curry had suffered no significant injury, the panel were content that the appropriate entry point was the mandatory minimum of mid-range, being a six-week suspension from playing.

“In light of his acceptance of the charge at the earliest opportunity, his apology to Curry and his previously good disciplinary record over a long career of over 150 top-level matches and 40 international matches, the panel were content to mitigate the suspension by the maximum 50 per cent, reducing the suspension to a three-week suspension.

“Genge has confirmed his intention to participate in the World Rugby coaching intervention programme which, if he is confirmed as eligible and conditional upon him completing the programme, will reduce his suspension to two weeks”.

No ban for Exeter wing

The fate of Olly Woodburn was also decided after the Exeter Chiefs player controversially received a second yellow card in their 62-19 defeat to Leicester Tigers on Sunday.

Woodburn was deemed to have illegally prevented a try when he helped tackle Leicester’s Chris Ashton into touch.

Referee Karl Dickson awarded a penalty try and duly showed a yellow card to the Exeter man, which was the 31-year-old’s second of the day following his sin-binning for a deliberate knock-on in the first half.

However, despite that red card, an independent disciplinary panel have decided that no further action will be taken against Woodburn.

He is therefore free to play immediately and could feature in Saturday’s Premiership game against Bristol.

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