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Nalaga free to face Quins

Clermont Auvergne wing Napolioni Nalaga is free to play in Sunday's Heineken Cup clash against Harlequins.

Nalaga was cited after striking wing Marc Andreu with his knee during Clermont's 13-9 Heineken defeat against Racing Metro last weekend.

Match referee Nigel Owens yellow-carded Nalaga for the offence.

Although the citing was upheld following a disciplinary hearing in Dublin, independent judicial officer Anthony Davies decided a yellow card was a sufficient sanction.

"The judicial officer determined that while Nalaga's lifting of the knee constituted reckless foul play, he did not regard the action as warranting a red card," said European Rugby Cup, in a statement.

Scarlets prop Samson Lee has received a two-week ban for stamping on Quins' England scrum-half Danny Care during last Saturday's Heineken Cup game at the Twickenham Stoop.

Lee was yellow-carded by referee John Lacey following the incident, before a citing complaint followed from match commissioner Jean-Claude Legendre.

Lee's boot made contact with Care's face, but independent judicial officer Rod McKenzie decided that Lee, who pleaded not guilty, was going for the ball. In McKenzie's opinion, though, it warranted a red card.

"The judicial officer determined that Lee was going for the ball, but in doing so, Lee's boot made contact with Care's face in a reckless manner, and that in his opinion, the offence warranted a red card," ERC said in a statement.

"He found that the act was at the low-end entry point of the IRB's sanctioning regime (two weeks) and although there were no aggravating factors and although Lee had a clean record, the player had pleaded not guilty and therefore no mitigation was possible in this case."

Lee's ban, imposed following a disciplinary hearing in Dublin, means he will miss the Scarlets' Heineken appointment with Racing Metro on Saturday, plus next week's RaboDirect PRO12 game against Zebre.

Bordeaux-Begles lock Adam Jaulhac, meanwhile, landed a one-week suspension after being cited for punching Bath's South African back-row forward Francois Louw in an Amlin Challenge Cup game last Saturday.

Perpignan centre Lifeimi Mafi has been banned for six weeks following his sending off in the Heineken Cup defeat against Gloucester last Saturday.

The former Munster player was red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Gloucester centre Ryan Mills.

Mafi plaeaded not guilty and challenged the red card decision, but it was upheld by McKenzie.

"The judicial officer upheld the red card decision and determined that the tackle was at the low end of the IRB's sanctioning regime (four weeks)," ERC said.

"Taking into account Mafi's previous disciplinary record and the IRB's memorandum on deterring dangerous tackles of this nature, the judicial officer added a further two weeks."

Bath back Ollie Devoto, meanwhile, received a two-week suspension after being cited for striking Bordeaux-Begles player Blair Connor with his head.

Devoto admitted the offence, and he will now be unavailable for Bath's next two games, Saturday's Amlin game against Newport Gwent Dragons and the Aviva Premiership appointment with Gloucester on Friday week.


From Belfast Telegraph