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Munster's Arno Botha suspended for three weeks after red card against Saracens

The South African back row was red-carded late in his team’s win last weekend.

MUNSTER BACK ROW Arno Botha has been suspended for three weeks after his red card against Saracens in the Heineken Champions Cup last weekend.

peter-omahony-and-arno-botha-speak-with-referee-romain-poite Botha was sent off by referee Romain Poite. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

The South African was red-carded by referee Romain Poite in the closing stages of Munster’s 10-3 victory after leading with his arm into a carry.

Botha’s disciplinary hearing today in London saw him banned for three weeks for “striking the Saracens replacement, Nick Tompkins (No 23), with his arm in contravention of Law 9.12.”

The disciplinary committee upheld the red card decision and found that Botha’s act of foul play was reckless.

World Rugby’s regulations ensure that any contact with the head or neck results in a mid-range entry point of a six-week ban, but Botha had 50% chalked off due to his “guilty plea and timely expression of remorse.”

As such, Botha is banned for Munster’s next three games – Saracens aways in the Champions Cup this weekend, their Pro14 visit to Connacht on 21 December, and their home Pro14 clash with Leinster on 28 December at Thomond Park.

Botha and the EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, Ospreys fullback Dan Evans has been suspended for four weeks following his red card for striking Racing 92 wing Teddy Thomas in the face as he gathered a high ball in last weekend’s game at Liberty Stadium.

Again, his actions were found to be reckless, while his initial eight-week suspension was reduced by 50% for the same reasons as Botha.

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Murray Kinsella

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