Damian McKenzie handed three-week suspension

Damian McKenzie was red carded during the game against Reds
Damian McKenzie was red carded during the game against Reds

New Zealand international Damian McKenzie has been banned for three games following his red-card incident while playing for Chiefs in the latest round of Super Rugby Trans Tasman.

McKenzie was sent-off in the 22nd minute during the encounter against Reds at Queensland Country Bank Stadium for a high tackle on scrum-half Tate McDermott and his absence proved decisive as the Australian side went on to win the encounter with a 40-34 margin.

The 26-year-old appeared before a SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Adam Casselden SC (Chairman), Mike Mika and Stefan Terblanche and was proved guilty of the charges.

He was initially handed a six-week ban that was reduced by half taking into account his guilty plea, conduct during hearing, previous disciplinary record and other mitigating factors.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.13," read a SANZAAR statement.

"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level.

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's good judicial record and pleading guilty at his first available opportunity the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 3 weeks."

The ban means McKenzie will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby Trans Tasman campaign including the final if Chiefs manage a qualification. Currently they are positioned fifth in the table with two wins from three games.