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Injured prop banned after joining brawl

Exeter prop Harry Williams has been handed a two-week suspension after being shown a red card during the Gallagher Premiership victory over Saracens.

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England international Williams became involved in a mass brawl which broke out on the sideline during the 77th minute at Sandy Park.

Williams had earlier been substituted following a head injury, but dashed from the technical area to join in the fracas, which was sparked after Duncan Taylor had clashed with Exeter scrum-half Nic White.

Once tempers had calmed down and order restored, Williams was shown a red card by referee Wayne Barnes, who declared his behaviour "not acceptable".

Williams appeared before an independent disciplinary panel last night where he accepted the charge.

Chair Richard Whittam QC, the sole independent judicial officer, handed out a two-week ban, which will see Williams free to play again on January 14.

Whittam said Williams had left the technical area and "advanced over 10 metres deliberately to enter a melee that already had started".

He added: "The referee, who handled the situation in an exemplary manner, assessed his actions as exacerbating the situation."

A statement from Premiership Rugby continued: "He (Williams) did not strike another player and no one was injured as a result of his actions. He apologised to the referee immediately after the match and accepted the charge in advance of the hearing.

"In those circumstances the four-week sanction was reduced to one of two weeks."

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