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Williams to miss Wales' Six Nations opener against Ireland due to suspension

The 29-year-old was sent off during the Scarlets’ defeat to Cardiff Blues last weekend.

WALES INTERNATIONAL LIAM Williams will miss his side’s Six Nations opener against Ireland on 7 February in Cardiff after being handed a three-game ban for a dangerous clearout.

The incident occurred during Scarlets’ Pro14 defeat to Cardiff Blues last weekend, with Williams red-carded for making contact with the head of Cardiff’s Shane Lewis-Hughes.

Having been sent off, Williams asked refereed Craig Evans, “We’ll just start playing touch, will we?” before leaving the pitch.

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Williams was subsequently cited under Law 9.20(b): “A Player must not make contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders.”

His hearing took place on Tuesday and the Pro14 has now confirmed a three-game suspension for the 29-year-old.

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A statement from the Pro14 reports that Williams “accepted that he had committed an act of foul play which warranted a red card” and that “the incident was found to merit a mid-range entry point, which indicates a four-week suspension for this offence.”

However, judicial sheriff Kathrine Mackie applied a one-game reduction after determining that there were “factors, including the player’s remorse, which warranted mitigation of one week.”

The ban means Williams is suspended from participating in “the next three meaningful fixtures for which he is fit and available for selection.”

That means he will miss Scarlets’ scheduled Pro14 clash with Leinster on 30 January, while it is expected that the Welsh region will also have a rearranged league game next weekend.

As such, the third game of Williams’ suspension is set to be Wales’ opening Six Nations game against Ireland in Cardiff if he is selected in Wayne Pivac’s squad.

The ban will apply to a third Scarlets fixture if he is not picked by Wales.

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Murray Kinsella

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