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James Davies told he has Scarlets future despite 'unsportsmanlike behaviour'

Scarlets will stand by flanker James Davies after he received a three-week suspension for using foul language and making an obscene gesture.

Davies, who helped Great Britain's men's sevens team win a silver medal at the Rio Olympics four months ago, was cited for acts contrary to good sportsmanship following last Sunday's European Champions Cup clash against Toulon.

An independent disciplinary committee heard evidence and submissions from Davies, who admitted the offence, at a hearing in London on Wednesday.

The Scarlets had released a statement on Tuesday, saying that Davies apologised for his "unsportsmanlike behaviour".

Davies said he apologised to match referee Greg Garner during and after the game at Stade Felix-Mayol.

The Scarlets, meanwhile, are conducting an internal investigation under their disciplinary procedure.

And while they admit that further sanctions may be an option after the "unacceptable" incident, the 26-year-old still has a future at Parc y Scarlets.

"What James did on Sunday was unacceptable and cannot be changed but his response to the incident and his sincere remorse for his actions shows that he still has a major part to play in the Scarlets rugby community in future," said Scarlets director and general manager of rugby Jon Daniels.

"He feels a personal accountability to the values of the game he has grown up with and is already making amends for his mistake by volunteering to be an ambassador for the new BT Supporters Club TACKLE programme, run by the Welsh Regions to support disaffected young people.

"He has also hot-footed back from his disciplinary hearing in London to visit Cilgerran, the children's ward at West Wales General Hospital, this afternoon with his team-mates.

"Whilst our internal disciplinary process may find further sanctions are appropriate, removing James from his rugby community through contract termination is not in anyone's interests."

Davies can play again on January 2, ruling him out of next Sunday's Toulon return fixture and Guinness PRO 12 games against the Ospreys and Cardiff Blues.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh centre Phil Burleigh has received a one-week ban after being sent off during a European Challenge Cup tie against Stade Francais.

Burleigh was dismissed for striking Stade lock Pascal Pape, and an independent disciplinary committee, meeting in London, decided the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions.

Burleigh can play again from next Monday, meaning he will miss the Stade return clash in Paris on Thursday.


From Belfast Telegraph