Newcastle pivot banned for four weeks

Date published: November 16 2016

Newcastle Falcons fly-half Craig Willis has received a four-week suspension after being found guilty of an illegal tip tackle.

Willis, who was sent off by referee Mike Adamson for the tackle on Nick Tompkins of Saracens during an Anglo-Welsh Cup match, is free to play again on Tuesday 13 December.

The incident occurred in the second half of the match.

The RFU discipline panel, said: “The tackle started off legitimately, it being a technique he is specifically coached to carry out, however it did not end up as intended and having lifted the player off the ground the first point of contact between the Saracens player and the ground was the top of the shoulder. There was no injury caused.

“The panel followed the World Rugby memoranda for tackles of this nature and increased the low end entry point of 4 weeks by 1 week. A number of mitigating features enabled the panel to reduce the sanction by 1 week but not 2 as he did not accept the referees award of the red card.”

The panel comprised of Anthony Davies (chairman), John Downham and Dr Barry O’Driscoll.