Pierre Bourgarit has been hit with a six-week suspension for his eye-gouge on Tom Curry in La Rochelle’s European Champions Cup loss to Sale Sharks.
Bourgarit was sent off for the offence, which occurred late in Sunday’s first half at the AJ Bell Stadium, where Sale triumphed 25-15.
The La Rochelle hooker inexplicably put his hand into the 21-year-old’s eyes during a grapple and was dismissed.
Explaining the length of the ban, a statement from the independent disciplinary committee read: “It was decided that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby’s sanctions for contact with the eye area, however, it was also decided that there was no reason to consider a sanction greater than the minimum entry point of 12 weeks.
“There were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s guilty plea, clear disciplinary record and timely expression of remorse, the committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50 per cent before imposing a six-week suspension.”
Bourgarit, who is entitled to appeal, will be free to return on January 6.
Meanwhile, Montpellier’s Jacques du Plessis is set to serve a five-week ban after he was sent off for elbowing Gloucester’s Gerbrandt Grobler, and Ulster’s Will Addison has received a four-week sanction for a dangerous tackle on Clermont’s Paul Jedrasiak.
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