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Launchbury banned for England's remaining Tests after 'recklessly' kicking opponent

England will be without the Wasps captain for their games against Argentina and Australia.

England's Joe Launchbury.
England's Joe Launchbury.

JOE LAUNCHBURY WILL miss England’s remaining end-of-year Tests after being handed a two-week suspension for kicking an opponent during Saturday’s victory over Fiji.

The Wasps captain was cited on Sunday for allegedly kicking centre Asaeli Tikoirotuma in the second minute of the 58-15 win at Twickenham.

Launchbury scored two tries as England coasted to a 12th consecutive victory under Eddie Jones but the lock will be absent for forthcoming fixtures against Argentina and Australia.

A statement read: “Having viewed video footage of the incident, listened to evidence and representations from and on behalf of the player, and reviewed all of the other evidence, the Disciplinary Committee found that Mr Launchbury had acted recklessly rather than intentionally and that the offending merited a low-end entry point based on World Rugby’s scale of seriousness, which carries a four-week playing suspension.

“The Disciplinary Committee further found that there were no aggravating factors and that there were a number of mitigating factors (including Mr Launchbury’s acknowledgement of wrongdoing, his previous clean disciplinary record and his good conduct at the hearing) such that his playing suspension be reduced by two weeks.

“Mr Launchbury is therefore suspended from playing rugby for a total of two weeks, up to and including Sunday, 4 December, 2016.”

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