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Wood hit with lengthy ban

Gloucester's miserable start to the new season has been compounded by a lengthy ban for their England Saxons prop Nick Wood.

Wood was handed an eight-week suspension by a three-man Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel in Bristol on Wednesday night.

He was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes in the second minute of last Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash against Saracens for stamping on opposition back-row forward Jacques Burger's head.

Wood, 30, cannot play again until November 13.

He apologised to Namibia international Burger after the incident, but he now faces a spell on the sidelines that will see him miss five Premiership matches and two Heineken Cup pool fixtures.

Gloucester are currently bottom of the Premiership with just one point from two games, and they will not have Wood for Premiership appointments with Northampton, Newcastle, Exeter, Bath and Wasps, plus opening Heineken appointments with Perpignan and Munster.

His case was heard by a panel comprising chairman Christopher Quinlan QC, Mike Curling and John Doubleday, with the full written judgement expected to be made available shortly.

Burger said earlier this week that he harboured "no hard feelings" towards Wood following the incident.

Gloucester host Northampton on Saturday after suffering defeats against Sale Sharks and Saracens.

They conceded 66 points across the two games and are among only three clubs without a Premiership win so far this term, being joined by Worcester and Wasps.

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