Payne suspended for two weeks

Jared Payne
Jared Payne (left) has been banned for two weeks
©Press Association

Ulster full-back Jared Payne has been suspended for two weeks after a disciplinary panel upheld his red card against Saracens on Saturday.

He was given his marching orders just five minutes into the Heineken Cup final after a challenge which left Alex Goode concussed and needing several minutes of treatment before the game resumed.

Saracens went on to win 17-15 and advance to the semi-finals.

The disciplinary hearing in Dublin upheld the red card and handed Payne a three-week ban, before reducing the ban by one week.

He was adjudged to have contravened Law 10.4 (i) - tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an opponent jumping for the ball in open play.

The panel determined he had committed a reckless act but concluded the offence was at the low end of sanctions.

Due to there being no aggravating factors, his previously good disciplinary record and exemplary conduct at the hearing, his ban was cut from three weeks to two.

Judicial officer Simon Thomas said the case had been 'particularly challenging'.

Payne will be free to play from 21st April, meaning he will miss Ulster's upcoming RaboDirect Pro12 matches against Connacht (11th April) and Glasgow (18th April).