Saracens back-row Michael Rhodes has been handed a three-week ban following an incident in the recently concluded Gallagher Premiership clash against Bath Rugby at Recreation Ground on Friday.
The 31-year-old was cited by independent citing commissioner James Hall for a dangerous play in the first half when he struck the head of Levi Douglas as a breach of Law 9.20 (a).
Rhodes appeared before a three-person independent disciplinary panel comprising of Daniel White (chair) with Paula Carter and Nick Garling and was proved guilty of the charges. His sanction was reduced by 50% considering the disciplinary track record and other mitigating factors.
“The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play in that he made contact with the head of the Bath player," said panel chair Daniel White.
“The panel considered the actions of the player in detail and were assisted by hearing the player’s account of events as well as reading the detailed citing report.
“Actions such as this have the potential to cause serious injury, albeit in this case no injury was caused.
“The World Rugby Sanction table mandates that when contact is made to the head, such as was not disputed in this case, we MUST use the mid-range entry point or above. We did not consider that this case merited a top-end entry point for the reasons which will be explained within the detailed judgment.
“We gave the player the maximum permissible credit of 50% on account of his acceptance of the charge, his record (which included only one previous disciplinary matter from 2011 and was not considered relevant for the purposes of this hearing) and his remorse shown and in so doing impose a total sanction of three weeks’ "
As a result, Rhodes can resume playing from 2nd April.