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Newcastle's Craig Willis handed four-week ban after red card against Saracens

Published 15/11/2016

A Newcastle Falcons player has been banned for four weeks
A Newcastle Falcons player has been banned for four weeks

Newcastle fly-half Craig Willis has been banned for four weeks after his weekend red card for tip-tackling.

Willis was sent off by referee Mike Adamson in the second half of Newcastle's Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat to Saracens on Saturday for an illegal tackle on Nick Tompkins.

He appeared before a three-person Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel on Tuesday in Leeds where he pleaded not guilty but was found to have broken the rules, receiving a ban that keeps him out until December 13.

The panel said in its judgment: "The tackle started off legitimately, it being a technique he is specifically coached to carry out, however it did not end up as intended and having lifted the player off the ground the first point of contact between the Saracens player and the ground was the top of the shoulder. There was no injury caused.

"The panel followed the World Rugby memoranda for tackles of this nature and increased the low end entry point of four weeks by one week. A number of mitigating features enabled the panel to reduce the sanction by one week but not two as he did not accept the referee's award of the red card."

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