Ulster full back Will Addison has been slapped with a four-week ban for his tackle on Clermont Auvergne second row, Paul Jedrasiak.
The ban will rule the Ireland international out of Ulster's next four games including the back-to-back Heineken Champions Cup pool matches against Harlequins and the PRO14 inter-provincial clash with Leinster at the RDS.
The incident occurred during Ulster's 18-13 Heineken Champions Cup victory last Friday night.
Jedrasiak was forced off after Addison's try-saving tackle for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) and he was unable to return for the remainder of the game at the Kingspan Stadium.
The incident was reviewed at the time but referee JP Doyle, with the assistance of the television match official, decided that the tackle did not warrant a sanction.
The EPCR confirmed the bad news for Ulster in a statement released this afternoon which reads;
"The Ulster Rugby full back, Will Addison, has been suspended for four weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London today (Wednesday, 27 November) arising from his club's Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Kingspan Stadium.
"Addison was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, John Byett (England), for tackling the Clermont second row, Paul Jedrasiak (No 4), in a dangerous manner in the 31st minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.13.
"An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Antony Davies (England), Chair, Val Toma (Romania) and Marcello d’Orey (Portugal), heard submissions and evidence from Addison, who did not accept the citing complaint, from the Ulster Rugby Chief Executive, Jonny Petrie, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
"The Committee upheld the citing complaint finding that Addison had made reckless contact with Jedrasiak’s head in attempting the tackle, and as dangerous tackles of this nature carry a mandatory mid-range sanction according to World Rugby’s regulations, six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point."
The punishment for dangerous tackling, under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, ranges from a low-end ban of 2 weeks to mid-range of 6 weeks while a top-end punishment can be anywhere from 10 to 52 weeks.
The statement adds;
"Due to the player’s clear disciplinary record, the Committee reduced the sanction by two weeks before imposing a four-week suspension.
"Addison is free to play on Monday, 23 December 2019, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision."
Ulster's next game is at home against Scarlets in the PRO14 before they entertain Harlequins in the Champions Cup and then travel away to take on the Premiership side at The Stoop.
The Leinster game is in Dublin on December 20 after which Addison is free to return and face Connacht at the Kingspan Stadium on December 27.
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