Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott has been handed a three-week suspension following his yellow-card incident during the recently concluded Heineken Champions Cup game against Munster.
Kockott was cited after he was alleged to have made contact with the eye area of Munster flanker Chris Cloete during the first half of the game which was found to be a breach of Law 9.12.
As a result, the 32-year-old appeared before a three-man independent disciplinary panel consisting of Pamela Woodman (Scotland), Chair, Anthony Davies (England) and Leon Lloyd (England) and was proved guilty of the charges.
A statement released by EPCR said the panel believed that the action from Kockott warranted a red-card and was initially handed four-week ban that was reduced by one week following the player's conduct during hearing and other mitigating factors.
"An independent Disciplinary Committee heard evidence and submissions from Kockott, who pleaded guilty to the charge of making contact with the eye area, from the Castres Olympique Managing Director, Matthias Rolland, from the Castres Olympique legal representative, Clément Germain, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan,” read an EPCR statement.
“The Committee upheld the citing complaint in that it warranted a red card and found that Kockott had made contact with Cloete’s eye area. It was decided that the act of foul play was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
“Due to the player’s guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a three-week suspension.”
Kockott will be free to play from 7th January 2019.