Connacht's Papali'i given five-week ban for Zebre red card

Papali’i was sent off during the second half of Sunday’s Pro14 win over Zebre.

CONNACHT’S ABRAHAM PAPALI’I will miss the opening rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup and the first of the festive interpros after he was handed a five-week ban.

Papali’i was sent off during the second half of the Guinness Pro14 win over Zebre on Sunday for leading with his head in this tackle on Tommaso Boni.

Connacht head coach Andy Friend described it as “a harsh red card” and indicated that the province would contest the decision at yesterday’s disciplinary hearing.

But the three-man disciplinary panel ruled that the collision justified a red card and was a mid-range offence, which carries an entry point of a six-week suspension.

The ban was reduced by a week in light of Papali’i's cooperation and remorse, leaving him free to play again from midnight on December 28.

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The flanker will miss four games starting with Ospreys’ visit to the Sportsground tomorrow evening, as well the European games against Racing 92 and Bristol Bears and the post-Christmas interpro against Ulster on 27 December.

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey pick up the pieces — all of them — after Ireland’s Twickenham defeat:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Niall Kelly

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