Andre Esterhuizen and Stuart Townsend handed suspensions

Andre Esterhuizen was red-carded during the game against Gloucester Rugby
Andre Esterhuizen was red-carded during the game against Gloucester Rugby
©Steve Haag

Harlequins' Andre Esterhuizen and Exeter Chiefs' Stuart Townsend have been handed suspensions following their offences in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership.

Esterhuizen was red-carded in the 45th minute during the game against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm for elbowing Lloyd Evans in the face but despite his absence the Quins went on to win the game with a 24-34 margin.

The 26-year-old accepted the charges and as a result was banned for four weeks and can resume playing from 5th January.

"Esterhuizen was shown a red card by referee Ian Tempest in the 45th minute of the match between Gloucester and Harlequins on Sunday 6 Dec 2020. This was for striking with the elbow, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.1," read the statement.

"The player accepted the charge and was given a four-week suspension by the independent panel comprising Daniel White (chair), with Matthew Weaver and Mitch Read. He is free to play again on 5 January 2021"

Meanwhile, Townsend was cited for an offence against Leicester Tigers based on a video evidence for a dangerous tackle on Harry Simmons, who managed to pass on a Head Injury Assessment but is currently experiencing concussion symptoms.

The 25-year-old was handed a five-week ban which means he will be unavailable to play until 12th January.

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Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

12 teams compete in the league over a season, playing every team both home and away, before four move into the playoffs and one is relegated.

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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