Sam Warburton has been slapped with a three-week ban after admitting to a ‘dangerous tip tackle’ in Saturday’s semi-final at Eden Park.
The Wales captain learned his fate after attending a red card hearing in Auckland on Sunday. Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all broadcast angles and additional evidence from the player, Warren Gatland and submissions from his legal representative Aaron Lloyd, the independent Judicial Officer, Christopher Quinlan QC (ENG) determined the red card to be appropriate in Law and the action in line with IRB directives to unions, teams and match officials.
The Judicial Officer concluded that the offence was mid-range on the scale of seriousness, which has an entry point of six weeks. However, he found that there were no aggravating features and there were compelling on-field and/or off-field mitigating features including the player’s admission, outstanding character and disciplinary record and remorse. Therefore, the suspension was reduced to a period of three weeks.
The suspension takes effect immediately and will run up to and include 6 November, 2011. He is free to resume playing on 7 November.
Warburton will no miss next Friday’s third-place play-off at Eden Park.