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Aki handed four-week ban following red card against England

Bundee Aki has been given a four-week ban following his red card in Ireland's Six Nations win ove...

Bundee Aki has been given a four-week ban following his red card in Ireland's Six Nations win over England.

The centre was sent-off by referee Mathieu Raynal for making contact with the head of Billy Vunipola in the 63rd minute of Ireland's 32-18 victory.

His suspension mean's Aki will miss Connacht's European Challenge Cup last-16 tie away to Leicester Tigers.

The 30-year old will also miss a potential quarter-final with either Newcastle Falcons or the Ospreys. Should the proposed Rainbow Cup go ahead as planned from April 17, the balance of Aki's ban could be served during that competition.

Aki appeared before a disciplinary panel on Tuesday, accepting that he had committed the act of foul play alleged (a dangerous tackle) and that it had warranted a red card.

The committee took on board Aki's explanation that he'd intended to make a legal tackle, saying he'd made contact with Vunipola "inches too high”.

Taking everything on board, the disciplinary committee felt the offence merited a mid-range entry point regarding his punishment.

Aki was handed a six-week ban, but his previous disciplinary record precluded the usual 50 per cent reduction for 'good behaviour'.

Instead, Aki will be banned for Connacht's next four games.

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Billy Vunipola Bundee Aki Challenge Cup Connacht England European Challenge Cup Rainbow Cup Six Nations