Rees given seven-week ban for stamp on Nick Easter

Former Wales captain Matthew Rees has received a seven-week ban for stamping on Harlequins and England number eight Nick Easter.

Cardiff Blues hooker Rees was sent off following the incident, which happened seven minutes from time during Blues' European Challenge Cup defeat against Quins at the Arms Park last Thursday.

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby said that Rees was suspended following an independent disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday.

In a statement, EPCR said: "T he independent judicial officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Rees, who accepted he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card, from the Cardiff Blues team manager Gafyn Cooper and from the EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.

"In upholding the red card decision, the judicial officer found that Rees had stamped on Nick Easter and determined that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

"He then reduced the sanction by five weeks, taking into account Rees's guilty plea, timely expression of remorse to Easter and his clean disciplinary record, before imposing a suspension of seven weeks."

Rees, who won more than 60 cap for Wales and played in all three Tests on the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa, is free to play again on January 11.