England international Denny Solomona has been handed a ban of four weeks following a homophobic slur during the Aviva Premiership game against Worcester Warriors last month.
Solomona's comments were directed at Worcester Warriors fly-half Jamie Shillcock in the second half of the game with the latter going on to complain to referee Andrew Jackson after he was tackled by the rugby league convert. The referee halted the game during the 55th minute and conveyed to Shillock and acting Sale captain that he could not hear anything and the issue will be dealt at the conclusion of the match.
The England winger appeared before a three-person disciplinary panel on Thursday after he was charged with a breach of RFU Rule 5.12.
He was initially handed a ban of six weeks that was reduced to four considering the mitigating factors. As a result, Solomona will be banned until 8th May and will be seen in action this season only if Sale Sharks make it to the play-offs
Sale Sharks are positioned seventh in the Aviva Premiership table with 48 points from 18 matches and will host Wasps next at AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.
Panel chair Samantha Hillas said: “The panel found that the player used language that was verbally abusive on more than one occasion in quick succession.
“The comments were offensive and have no place on the rugby field. However, the Panel accepted that they were said in the heat of the moment rather than premeditated.
“For these reasons, the panel deemed it was a low end entry point which carries a six week suspension as a starting point. The player did not accept the charge but all other mitigating features were present. The panel therefore reduced the sanction to four weeks.”