Leinster's James Lowe to miss crucial Toulouse tie after two-week ban

The 26-year-old wing was red-carded for foul play against Munster last weekend.

LEINSTER’S JAMES LOWE has been handed a two-week ban for the incident which saw him red-carded during the defeat to Munster in the Guinness Pro14 last weekend.

The suspension means Lowe will miss Leinster’s crucial Heineken Champions Cup clash with Toulouse in Dublin on 12 January.

Andrew Conway with James Lowe Lowe upended Andrew Conway last weekend in Thomond Park. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The 26-year-old wing was sent off by referee Frank Murphy in the 32nd minute of last Saturday’s inter-provincial tie after upending the airborne Andrew Conway, resulting in the Munster wing landing on his head.

Lowe was subsequently cited under Law 9.17, which states that “a player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground.”

A hearing took place today via video conference and the disciplinary committee in Neath – composed of Wales’ Roger Morris, Ray Wilton and Rhian Williams – concluded that Murphy’s red card decision had been accurate.

Lowe himself “accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and that his actions warranted a red card,” according to a Pro14 statement.

The committee agreed that Lowe’s actions warranted a low-end entry point of four weeks, but that was reduced by 50% due to “the player’s clean disciplinary record and the conduct of the player and his club throughout the process.”

James Lowe is shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy Lowe was red-carded by referee Frank Murphy. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Lowe’s two-week ban means he is free to play again from midnight on January 13, meaning he will miss this weekend’s Pro14 clash with Ulster and the European meeting with Toulouse.

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Lowe does have the right to appeal the ban, although his acceptance of having committed an act of foul play indicates that there is no intention to do so.

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Murray Kinsella

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