France lock Paul Willemse handed four-weeks suspension

France head coach Fabien Galthie
France head coach Fabien Galthie
©Steve Haag

France lock Paul Willemse will miss the next two Six Nations games for Scotland following his four-week suspension.

Willemse received two yellow cards in the tournament's opening game against Ireland which they went on to lose 17-38.

In the seventh minute, he was sin-binned for making a shoulder contact with the head of Andrew Porter and was sent-off around the half-hour mark for his second yellow card in the game that came for a high tackle on Caelan Doris.

The 31-year-old appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee via video conference was proved guilty of the charges. He was initially handed a six-week ban that was reduced by two taking into account the mitigating factors. His suspension could be down to three games if he successfully completes the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme.

“Having considered the incidents separately, including the relevant supporting statements and footage, the Committee deemed that the red card threshold was reached in respect of the citing, meaning that too was upheld,” the committee said.

“The Committee, however, accepted that whilst both actions were reckless, there was no evidence to suggest the player acted maliciously or with intent in either case. The Committee also highlighted the player had presented himself admirably in the process and shown remorse for his actions.

“Following World Rugby’s mandatory guidelines, the sending off incident warranted a mid-range entry point of six weeks suspension. Mitigating factors were applied by the Committee reducing the six-week entry point by two weeks, resulting in a sanction of four weeks for this offence.”

Willemse will now miss the upcoming Six Nations games against Scotland and Italy but is set to return for their fourth round game against Wales on 10th March.

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