Exeter Chiefs captain Jack Yeandle has been suspended for three weeks following his red-card incident in the recently concluded Gallagher Premiership game against Sale Sharks.
Yeandle was sent-off in the 26th minute by referee Karl Dickson for striking the the head of Curtis Langdon and appeared before an independent disciplinary panel comprising Jeremy Summers (chair), with Mitch Read and Tony Wheat.
The panel deemed the 31-year-old's act was in breach of World Rugby Law 9.20a that deals with dangerous play in a ruck or maul and was banned for three weeks taking into consideration the guilty plea, his conduct during hearing and other mitigating factors.
"Jack took the decision to plead guilty to the offence. It's a tough one for him because he knows his approach and that he needs to bind underneath," said Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter.
"You can see there is the start of a bind there, but at the same time he realised that when you look at the directives that are coming out now, the referee went through the process and deemed there wasn't a sufficient bind there for it not to be seen as a illegal clear-out.
"If you enter in an illegal position now and make contact with the head, it's pretty clear what is going to happen.
"I think the good thing for Jack is that he has such a good disciplinary record, never having a yellow card over a long career, and it shows that he has not approached that to commit foul play or approached that to hurt anybody.
"I know he has had a couple of messages with Curtis Langdon since, so none of that has ever come into question. I think to have the maximum reduction that is is possible is the right outcome - and at least now we have some closure to it all."
Yeandle will be free to resume playing from 23rd March.