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Ireland wing Keith Earls to miss New Zealand clash due to suspension

Ireland international Keith Earls has been banned for two weeks after being sent off in a European Champions Cup game.

It means the Munster wing will not be available for Ireland's autumn Test series opener against World Cup holders New Zealand in Chicago on November 5.

Earls was dismissed by French referee Jerome Garces for a dangerous tackle on Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown during last Saturday's Champions Cup encounter at Thomond Park.

Despite being reduced to 14 men after just 19 minutes, Munster went on to win the game 38-17.

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby announced Earls' suspension following a disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday.

Apart from the All Blacks clash, he will also miss Munster's Guinness PRO12 appointment with Ulster in Belfast later this week.

Earls pleaded guilty to the offence, and in a statement, EPCR said: " In upholding the red card decision, the (disciplinary) committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.

"As there were no aggravating factors, the committee then reduced the sanction by a maximum of two weeks due to Earls' timely guilty plea, expression of remorse and clean disciplinary record, before imposing a suspension of two weeks.

" Earls will be free to play on Monday, November 7."

Zebre hooker Oliviero Fabiani has been banned for nine weeks for biting Connacht lock forward Quinn Roux.

Fabiani was sent off for the offence in the 29th-minute of Connacht's 52-7 European Champions Cup victory in Parma last weekend.

An independent disciplinary hearing in London also handed out a five-week ban to Brive second row Johan Snyman for a dangerous tackle on Worcester Warriors' Tom Heathcote in the French club's 25-24 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory at Sixways.

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