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England's Lozowski to miss Springbok Test after EPCR extend ban

The Saracens centre was originally handed a two-week suspension, but will now be unavailable for England’s opening November Test.

SARACENS CENTRE ALEX Lozowski will miss England’s opening November Test against South Africa after an EPCR disciplinary committee extended his suspension by a week.

Lozowski was initially handed a two-week ban after being found guilty of dangerously entering a ruck during the Heineken Champions Cup victory over Glasgow Warriors in round one. 

Saracens Alex Lozowski Lozowski faces another week on the sideline. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

The 25-year-old was suspended for Saracens’ round two clash with Lyon last weekend, as well as their Premiership Cup meeting with Sale Sharks this Friday, but the committee realised he was due to sit out that game in any case to go to Portugal for a training camp with the England squad.

Upon reconvening, the disciplinary committee agreed to extend Lozowski’s ban to three weeks, meaning he will be unavailable for England’s game against the Springboks at Twickenham on Saturday 3 November.

In a statement released this evening, the EPCR say Lozowski is now suspended until Monday 5 November.

“In accordance with World Rugby regulations, suspensions are imposed on the basis that a one-week period of suspension would ordinarily result in a player missing one match, so it was decided that Lozowski would miss his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against Lyon on 20 October as well as the Premiership Cup match against Leicester Tigers on 27 October, and that he would be free to play on Monday, 29 October,” the statement read.

“Subsequently, Lozowski was selected for an England squad training camp in Portugal, and on the basis of an agreement between the RFU and Premiership Rugby, it appeared that due to his participation in the England training camp, he would not be expected to play in Saracens’ Premiership Cup match on 27 October.

EPCR then requested that the independent Disciplinary Committee administratively review its decision on sanction with regard to the specific matches which would count towards Lozowski’s period of suspension.

“The England Team Manager, Richard Hill, informed the Committee that Lozowski would be made available for selection for the Premiership Cup match in order for the match to count towards his suspension. However, it was decided that had the player not received a sanction, he would not in the normal course of events have been expected to play in the match against Leicester Tigers on 27 October.

“The Committee concluded that in the context of Lozowski’s suspension, Saracens’ Premiership Cup match against Leicester Tigers should not be regarded as one that the player would have been expected to play in on account of his England squad selection.

“It was therefore decided that Lozowski’s two-week period of suspension should take in Saracens’ Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against Lyon, Saracens’ Premiership Cup match against Sale Sharks on Friday, 2 November and/or England’s international match against South Africa on Saturday, 3 November.”

Lozowski, who has won four England caps, will be available to face New Zealand on Saturday 10 November, before Japan and Australia visit London to play Eddie Jones’ side. 

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Ryan Bailey

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