Ospreys wing Mat Protheroe has been handed a three-game ban following his red card incident in the recently concluded United Rugby Championship game against Dragons.
Protheroe was sent off in the 27th minute of the encounter for a dangerous tackle on Dragons fly-half Will Reed and his absence proved decisive as Ospreys succumbed to a 5-20 defeat.
The 27-year-old faced an independent disciplinary hearing and was initially handed a six-week suspension that was reduced by half taking into account his conduct during hearing, guilty plea, previous disciplinary record and other mitigating factors.
The suspension means he will miss the upcoming games against Scarlets and Benetton but should be available for the club's opening Challenge Cup game against Benetton on 9th December if he successfully completes the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme.
"After an act of foul play against Ospreys player No 11 (Mathew Protheroe), referee Ben Whitehouse showed the Player a Red Card in the 27th minute of the game under Law 9.13 – A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.
"Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.
In the Player’s responses to the Judicial Officer overseeing the disciplinary process (Rose Alice Murphy), he had accepted that he had committed an act of foul play which warranted a Red Card.
"Mrs. Murphy found that the incident met the Red Card threshold, with entry of mid-range warranting 6 weeks. The Player received 3 weeks (50%) mitigation due to his good record and apology which results in a three game suspension".