Scarlets flanker James Davies has received a three-week suspension for using foul language and making an obscene gesture.
Davies, who helped Great Britain’s men’s sevens team win a silver medal at the Rio Olympics four months ago, was cited for acts contrary to good sportsmanship following last Sunday’s European Champions Cup clash against Toulon.
An independent disciplinry committee heard evidence and submissions from Davies, who admitted the offence, at a hearing in London on Wednesday. The Scarlets had released a statement on Tuesday, saying that Davies apologised for his “unsportsmanlike behaviour”.
Davies said he apologised to match referee Greg Garner during and after the game at Stade Felix-Mayol. The Scarlets, meanwhile, are conducting an internal investigagtion under their disciplinary procedure.
Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby said: “An independent disciplinary committee consisting of Rod McKenzie (Scotland), Bonike Erinle (England) and John Doubleday (England) heard evidence and submissions from Davies, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Scarlets team manager Mark Taylor, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.
“In upholding the citing complaint, the committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions, and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.
“As the player had served a previous ban in 2014, the committee decided not to reduce the sanction by the maximum of 50 per cent, but taking into account Davies’ guilty plea and timely expression of remorse, it decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a suspension of three weeks.”
Davies can play again on January 2, ruling him out of next Sunday’s Toulon return fixture and Guinness PRO 12 games against the Ospreys and Cardiff Blues.
Edinburgh centre Phil Burleigh, meanwhile, has received a one-week ban after being sent off during a European Challenge Cup tie against Stade Francais.
Burleigh was dismissed for striking Stade lock Pascal Pape, and an independent disciplinary commiteee, meeting in London, decided the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions. Burleigh can play again from next Monday, meaning he will miss the Stade return clash in Paris on Thursday.
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